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Saturday, December 31, 2005

Problem

I've decided. My blog is not Catholic enough. Maybe it's because I don't put enough time into it.

Go here instead, please. You might get edified. If you don't like it there, check out the sidebar they've got. Please. Do something to improve yourself. Don't waste another second in this place.

On the Seventh Day of Christmas...

On the 7th day of Christmas my true love gave to me...
Seven Swans A-swimming

The seven gifts of the Holy Spirit: 1) prophecy, 2) ministry, 3) teaching, 4) exhortation, 5) giving, 6) leading, and 7) compassion (Romans 12:6-8; cf. 1 Corinthians 12:8-11)

Friday, December 30, 2005

Oh, ye gods.


"Congratulations! You are most like Bertie Wooster.
I consider this to be a compliment because
Bertie is the sweetest guy out there. He is
the type to help those in need, no matter what
the problem is. The only unfortunate part is
that he doesnt do a good job by himself. Thats
where your pal Jeeves comes in (or a friend who
is a lot like Jeeves)."

On the sixth day of Christmas...

On the 6th day of Christmas my true love gave to me...
Six Geese A-laying
The six days of creation that confesses God as Creator and Sustainer of the world (Genesis 1).

Tank battalion grants 'wish' for 6-year-old

(Story by Lance Cpl. Lucian Friel)
CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. (Dec. 20, 2005) -- Most children grow up playing with trucks and tanks, but few of them have the chance to ever experience riding the “Iron Horse.”Thanks to the Make-a-Wish Foundation and the Marines of 2nd Tank Battalion, 2nd Marine Division, that experience came alive for six-year-old Brandon Rasnick of Lehigh Acres, Fla.

Brandon, who was promoted to the rank of sergeant by his fellow Marines, has cystic fibrosis, a genetic lung disorder. Since his one wish was train with Marines and to “save the world,” the Marines of 2nd Tanks arranged a tank display and ride for Brandon.Sgt. Ricardo Fernandez Jr., a tank commander with C Company, instructed Brandon on the M-1A1 Abrams Battle Tank and took him on the ride of his life.“It was great doing something like that for him,” said the San Antonio native. “For us, riding in a tank is not that big of a deal, but seeing the excitement and amazement in his eyes made me realize how important and special it is to some people.”

Before taking off on the ride, Brandon got the opportunity to look around the inside and outside of the tank. He learned about where the rounds go to fire the main gun. He was able to look through the sights of the mounted guns, and he learned the basic functions of the tank.“It was so awesome teaching him about the tank,” said Fernandez, a 2002 John Jay High School graduate.

“Seeing the look on his face when I told him certain things about the tank was great.”The 22-year-old father of two explained what it was like for him driving Brandon around the base.“He was a little cold, but he was so excited to be riding in a tank,” he said. “When we were crossing the road, he said to me, ‘All clear tank commander!’ I could tell he was having an awesome time.”

Spending the morning with Brandon and giving him the experience of the “Iron Horse” put a different light on life for Fernandez.“Just seeing this six-year-old fighting through this sickness was amazing,” he said. “It’s tougher than anything we’ll have to do. He’s definitely a warrior and for me it put a different perspective on life. It makes you appreciate everything you take for granted.”This morning was one that Brandon or his fellow Marines will not soon forget.“I’m glad I got a chance to be a part of this,” Fernandez said. “This experience made me feel special, and I will never forget this.” Semper fi.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Ask and ye shall Get

The popular song "The Twelve Days of Christmas" is usually seen as simply a nonsense song for children. However, some have suggested that it is a song of Christian instruction dating to the 16th century religious wars in England, with hidden references to the basic teachings of the Faith. They contend that it was a mnemonic device to teach the catechism to youngsters. The "true love" mentioned in the song is not an earthly suitor, but refers to God Himself. The "me" who receives the presents refers to every baptized person who is part of the Christian Faith. Each of the "days" represents some aspect of the Christian Faith that was important for children to learn.

However, many have questioned the historical accuracy of this origin of the song The Twelve Days of Christmas. It seems that some have made an issue out of trying to debunk this as an "urban myth," some in the name of historical accuracy and some out of personal agendas. There is little "hard" evidence available either way. Some church historians affirm this account as basically accurate, while others point out apparent historical discrepancies. However, the "evidence" on both sides is mostly in logical deduction and probabilities. One internet site devoted to debunking hoaxes and legends says that, "there is no substantive evidence to demonstrate that the song 'The Twelve Days of Christmas' was created or used as a secret means of preserving tenets of the Catholic faith, or that this claim is anything but a fanciful modern day speculation. . .." What is omitted is that there is no "substantive evidence" that will disprove it either.

It is certainly possible that this view of the song is legendary or anecdotal. Without corroboration and in the absence of "substantive evidence," we probably should not take rigid positions on either side and turn the song into a crusade for personal opinions. That would do more to violate the spirit of Christmas than the song is worth. So, for the sake of historical accuracy, we need to acknowledge this uncertainty.

However, on another level, this uncertainty should not prevent us from using the song in celebration of Christmas. Many of the symbols of Christianity were not originally religious, including even the present date of Christmas, but were appropriated from contemporary culture by the Christian Faith as vehicles of worship and proclamation. Perhaps, when all is said and done, historical accuracy is not really the point. Perhaps more important is that Christians can celebrate their rich heritage, and God's grace, through one more avenue this Christmas. Now, when they hear what they once thought was a secular "nonsense song," they will be reminded in one more way of the grace of God working in transforming ways in their lives and in our world. After all, is that not the meaning of Christmas anyway?"

courtesy of http://www.cresourcei.org/cy12days.html
On the 5th day of Christmas my true love gave to me...
Five Gold Rings

The first Five Books of the Old Testament, known as the Torah or the Pentateuch: 1) Genesis, 2) Exodus, 3) Leviticus, 4) Numbers, and 5) Deuteronomy, which gives the history of humanity's sinful failure and God's response of grace in the creation of a people to be a light to the world.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

On the fourth day of Christmas...

On the 4th day of Christmas my true love gave to me...
Four Calling Birds

The Four Gospels: 1) Matthew, 2) Mark, 3) Luke, and 4) John, which proclaim the Good News of God's reconciliation of the world to Himself in Jesus Christ.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

On the Third Day of Christmas...

On the 3rd day of Christmas my true love gave to me...

Three French Hens
The Three Theological Virtues: 1) Faith, 2) Hope, and 3) Love (1 Corinthians 13:13)

Monday, December 26, 2005

Feast of St. Stephen


One of the first deacons and the first Christian martyr; feast on 26 December. In the Acts of the Apostles the name of St. Stephen occurs for the first time on the occasion of the appointment of the first deacons (Acts 6:5). Dissatisfaction concerning the distribution of alms from the community's fund having arisen in the Church, seven men were selected and specially ordained by the Apostles to take care of the temporal relief of the poorer members. Of these seven, Stephen, is the first mentioned and the best known.

Stephen's life previous to this appointment remains for us almost entirely in the dark. His name is Greek and suggests he was a Hellenist, i.e., one of those Jews who had been born in some foreign land and whose native tongue was Greek; however, according to a fifth century tradition, the name Stephanos was only a Greek equivalent for the Aramaic Kelil (Syr. kelila, crown), which may be the protomartyr's original name and was inscribed on a slab found in his tomb. It seems that Stephen was not a proselyte, for the fact that Nicolas is the only one of the seven designated as such makes it almost certain that the others were Jews by birth. That Stephen was a pupil of Gamaliel is sometimes inferred from his able defence before the Sanhedrin; but this has not been proved. Neither do we know when and in what circumstances he became a Christian; it is doubtful whether the statement of St. Epiphanius (Haer., xx, 4) numbering Stephen among the seventy disciples is deserving of any credence.

His ministry as deacon appears to have been mostly among the Hellenist converts with whom the Apostles were at first less familiar; and the fact that the opposition he met with sprang up in the synagogues of the "Libertines" (probably the children of Jews taken captive to Rome by Pompey in 63 B. C. and freed hence the name Libertini), and "of the Cyrenians, and of the Alexandrians, and of them that were of Cilicia and Asia" shows that he usually preached among the Hellenist Jews. That he was pre eminently fitted for that work, his abilities and character, which the author of the Acts dwells upon so fervently, are the best indication. The Church had, by selecting him for a deacon, publicly acknowledged him as a man "of good reputation, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom" (Acts 6:3). He was "a man full of faith, and of the Holy Ghost" (vi, 5), "full of grace and fortitude" (vi, 8); his uncommon oratorical powers and unimpeachable logic no one was able to resist, so much so that to his arguments replete with the Divine energy of the Scriptural authorities God added the weight of "great wonders and signs" (vi, 8).

Great as was the efficacy of "the wisdom and the spirit that spoke" (vi, 10), still it could not bend the minds of the unwilling; to these the forceful preacher was fatally soon to become an enemy.
The conflict broke out when the cavillers of the synagogues "of the Libertines, and of the Cyreneans, and of the Alexandrians, and of them that were of Cilicia and Asia", who had challenged Stephen to a dispute, came out completely discomfited (vi, 9 10); wounded pride so inflamed their hatred that they suborned false witnesses to testify that "they had heard him speak words of blasphemy against Moses and against God" (vi, 11).

No charge could be more apt to rouse the mob; the anger of the ancients and the scribes had been already kindled from the first reports of the preaching of the Apostles. Stephen was arrested, not without some violence it seems (the Greek word synerpasan implies so much), and dragged before the Sanhedrin, where he was accused of saying that "Jesus of Nazareth shall destroy this place [the temple], and shall change the traditions which Moses delivered unto us" (vi, 12 14). No doubt Stephen had by his language given some grounds for the accusation; his accusers apparently twisted into the offensive utterance attributed to him a declaration that "the most High dwelleth not in houses made by hands" (vii, 48), some mention of Jesus foretelling the destruction of the Temple and some inveighing against the burthensome traditions fencing about the Law, or rather the asseveration so often repeated by the Apostles that "there is no salvation in any other" (cf. iv, 12) the Law not excluded but Jesus. However this may be, the accusation left him unperturbed and "all that sat in the council...saw his face as if it had been the face of an angel" (vi, 15).

Stephen's answer (Acts 7) was a long recital of the mercies of God towards Israel during its long history and of the ungratefulness by which, throughout, Israel repaid these mercies. This discourse contained many things unpleasant to Jewish ears; but the concluding indictment for having betrayed and murdered the Just One whose coming the Prophets had foretold, provoked the rage of an audience made up not of judges, but of foes. When Stephen "looking up steadfastly to heaven, saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God", and said: "Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God" (vii, 55), they ran violently upon him (vii, 56) and cast him out of the city to stone him to death. Stephen's stoning does not appear in the narrative of the Acts as a deed of mob violence; it must have been looked upon by those who took part in it as the carrying out of the law. According to law (Leviticus 24:14), or at least its usual interpretation, Stephen had been taken out of the city; custom required that the person to be stoned be placed on an elevation from whence with his hands bound he was to be thrown down.

It was most likely while these preparations were going on that, "falling on his knees, he cried with a loud voice, saying: "Lord, lay not this sin to their charge" (vii, 59). Meanwhile the witnesses, whose hands must be first on the person condemned by their testimony (Deuteronomy 17:7), were laying down their garments at the feet of Saul, that they might be more ready for the task devolved upon them (vii, 57). The praying martyr was thrown down; and while the witnesses were thrusting upon him "a stone as much as two men could carry", he was heard to utter this supreme prayer: "Lord Jesus, receive my spirit" (vii, 58). Little did all the people present, casting stones upon him, realize that the blood they shed was the first seed of a harvest that was to cover the world.
The bodies of men stoned to death were to be buried in a place appointed by the Sanhedrin.

Whether in this instance the Sanhedrin insisted on its right cannot be affirmed; at any rate, "devout men" -- whether Christians or Jews, we are not told -- "took order for Stephen's funeral, and made great mourning over him" (vii, 2). For centuries the location of St. Stephen's tomb was lost sight of, until (415) a certain priest named Lucian learned by revelation that the sacred body was in Caphar Gamala, some distance to the north of Jerusalem. The relics were then exhumed and carried first to the church of Mount Sion, then, in 460, to the basilica erected by Eudocia outside the Damascus Gate, on the spot where, according to tradition, the stoning had taken place (the opinion that the scene of St. Stephen's martyrdom was east of Jerusalem, near the Gate called since St. Stephen's Gate, is unheard of until the twelfth century). The site of the Eudocian basilica was identified some twenty years ago, and a new edifice has been erected on the old foundations by the Dominican Fathers.

The only first hand source of information on the life and death of St. Stephen is the Acts of the Apostles (vi, i viii, 2).

Lurkers, notices, and nut pronunciations.

If you lurk habitually on my blog, please remember that I don't bite--leave a comment sometime! I know who you are...

Notice: a cool new blog on the sidebar. Go find it yourself ---->

How do you say "pecan": Peh-cahn.... or pea-can?

On the Second Day of Christmas...

On the 2nd day of Christmas my true love gave to me...
Two Turtle Doves

The Old and New Testaments, which together bear witness to God's self-revelation in history and the creation of a people to tell the Story of God to the world.

On the First Day of Christmas...

On the 1st day of Christmas my true love gave to me...
A Partridge in a Pear Tree

The partridge in a pear tree is Jesus the Christ, the Son of God, whose birthday we celebrate on December 25, the first day of Christmas. In the song, Christ is symbolically presented as a mother partridge that feigns injury to decoy predators from her helpless nestlings, recalling the expression of Christ's sadness over the fate of Jerusalem: "Jerusalem! Jerusalem! How often would I have sheltered you under my wings, as a hen does her chicks, but you would not have it so . . . ." (Luke 13:34)

(I know, I know--this was yesterday's bird. But I couldn't very well blog on Christmas, now, could I?)

Friday, December 23, 2005

A DIFFERENT CHRISTMAS POEM

The embers glowed softly, and in their dim light,
I gazed round the room and I cherished the sight.
My wife was asleep, her head on my chest,
My daughter beside me, angelic in rest.

Outside the snow fell, a blanket of white,
transforming the yard to a winter delight.
The sparkling lights in the tree I believe,
completed the magic that was Christmas Eve.

My eyelids were heavy, my breathing was deep,
Secure and surrounded by love I would sleep.
In perfect contentment, or so it would seem,
So I slumbered, perhaps I started to dream.

The sound wasn't loud, and it wasn't too near,
But I opened my eyes when it tickled my ear.
Perhaps just a cough, I didn't quite know,
Then the sure sound of footsteps outside in the snow.

My soul gave a tremble, I struggled to hear,
And I crept to the door just to see who was near.
Standing out in the cold and the dark of the night,
a lone figure stood, his face weary and tight.

A soldier, I puzzled, some twenty years old,
Perhaps a Marine, huddled here in the cold.
Alone in the dark, he looked up and smiled,
standing watch over me, and my wife and my child.

"What are you doing?" I asked without fear,
"Come in this moment, it's freezing out here!
Put down your pack, brush the snow from your sleeve,
You should be at home on a cold Christmas Eve!"

For barely a moment I saw his eyes shift,
Away from the cold and the snow blown in drifts..
To the window that danced with a warm fire's light.
Then he sighed and he said "Its really all right,
I'm out here by choice. I'm here every night."

"It's my duty to stand at the front of the line,
That separates you from the darkest of times.
No one had to ask or beg or implore me,
I'm proud to stand here like my fathers before me.

My Gramps died at 'Pearl on a day in December,"
Then he sighed, "That's a Christmas 'Gram always remembers."
My dad stood his watch in the jungles of 'Nam',
And now it is my turn and so, here I am.
I've not seen my own son in more than a while,
But my wife sends me pictures, he's sure got her smile.

Then he bent and he carefully pulled from his bag,
The red, white, and blue... an American flag.

"I can live through the cold and the being alone,
Away from my family, my house and my home.
I can stand at my post through the rain and the sleet,
I can sleep in a foxhole with little to eat.
I can carry the weight of killing another,
Or lay down my life with my sister and brother..
Who stand at the front against any and all,
To ensure for all time that this flag will not fall."

"So go back inside," he said, "harbor no fright,
Your family is waiting and I'll be all right."
"But isn't there something I can do, at the least,
"Give you money," I asked, "or prepare you a feast?"
It seems all too little for all that you've done,
For being away from your wife and your son."

Then his eye welled a tear that held no regret,
"Just tell us you love us, and never forget.
To fight for our rights back at home while we're gone,
To stand your own watch, no matter how long.
For when we come home, either standing or dead,
To know you remember we fought and we bled.
Is payment enough, and with that we will trust,
That we mattered to you as you mattered to us.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Yay!

I found a better one!

In honor of the poor Pennsylvanians...

Ha! Bucky is now loose in the federal circuit courts...

Judge Proves with Decision Falsity of "Intelligent Design" Theory--He's Living Proof!


HARRISBURG, Pa. - In one of the biggest courtroom clashes between faith and evolution since the 1925 Scopes Monkey Trial, a federal judge barred a Pennsylvania public school district Tuesday from teaching "intelligent design" in biology class, saying the concept is creationism in disguise.

U.S. District Judge John E. Jones delivered a stinging attack on the Dover Area School Board, saying its first-in-the-nation decision in October 2004 to insert intelligent design into the science curriculum violates the constitutional separation of church and state.

The ruling was a major setback to the intelligent design movement, which is also waging battles in Georgia and Kansas. Intelligent design holds that living organisms are so complex that they must have been created by some kind of higher force.

Jones decried the "breathtaking inanity" of the Dover policy and accused several board members of lying to conceal their true motive, which he said was to promote religion.
A six-week trial over the issue yielded "overwhelming evidence" establishing that intelligent design "is a religious view, a mere re-labeling of creationism, and not a scientific theory," said Jones, a Republican and a churchgoer appointed to the federal bench three years ago.
The school system said it will probably not appeal the ruling, because the members who backed intelligent design were ousted in November's elections and replaced with a new slate opposed to the policy.

During the trial, the board argued that it was trying improve science education by exposing students to alternatives to Charles Darwin's theory of evolution and natural selection.
The policy required students to hear a statement about intelligent design before ninth-grade lessons on evolution. The statement said Darwin's theory is "not a fact" and has inexplicable "gaps." It referred students to an intelligent-design textbook, "Of Pandas and People."
But the judge said: "We find that the secular purposes claimed by the board amount to a pretext for the board's real purpose, which was to promote religion in the public school classroom."
In 1987, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that states cannot require public schools to balance evolution lessons by teaching creationism.

(courtesy of the Associated Press, December 20)

Monday, December 19, 2005

US Gets New Papal Nuncio

Archbishop Pietro Sambi Moving From Post in Israel

WASHINGTON, D.C., DEC. 18, 2005 (ZENIT.org).- Benedict XVI has appointed Archbishop Pietro Sambi, up to now apostolic nuncio to Israel, as apostolic nuncio to the United States.

Archbishop Sambi, 67, succeeds Archbishop Gabriel Montalvo, 75, who has held the post since 1998 and who stated age as the motive for his retirement. The Vatican press office announced the appointment Saturday.

Pietro Sambi was born in Sogliano sul Rubicone, Italy. He was incardinated in the Diocese of San Marino-Montefeltro and ordained a priest in March 1964. He has a doctorate in sacred theology and in canon law.

He started his service in the Diplomatic Corps of the Holy See in April 1969, in Cameroon.

He was transferred to the apostolic nunciature in Jerusalem in July 1971, and subsequently to the apostolic nunciatures in Cuba in 1974, in Algeria in 1978, in Nicaragua in 1979, in Belgium in 1981, and then in India in 1984, with the rank of counselor.

He was ordained as bishop in November 1985.

Worldwide experience

He was named pro-apostolic nuncio in Burundi in October 1985; pro-apostolic nuncio in Indonesia in November 1991; and apostolic nuncio in Israel and Cyprus, and apostolic delegate in Jerusalem and Palestine in June 1998.

Archbishop Sambi speaks Italian, English, French and Spanish.

A nuncio represents the Holy Father to both the hierarchy and Church of a particular nation and to that nation's civil government.

Bishop William Skylstad, president of the U.S. bishops' conference, issued a welcoming statement.

"The bishops of the United States," it said, "are pleased that the Holy Father has honored the Church in our country with the appointment of a nuncio with an extraordinary life of service to the Church in many areas of the world.

"Archbishop Sambi is very well known to the presidents and to many members of our episcopal conference because of our strong engagement with and support of the Church in the Holy Land over the years. We look forward to working with Archbishop Sambi and we are most grateful to Archbishop Montalvo for the great contributions he has made to the Church during the past seven years."

Yay!

I found a new avatar!

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Annunciation Revisited

Today is the Feast of the Expectation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, celebrated on 18 December by nearly the entire Latin Church. Owing to the ancient law of the Church prohibiting the celebration of feasts during Lent (a law still in vigour at Milan), the Spanish Church transferred the feast of the Annunciation from 25 March to the season of Advent, the Tenth Council of Toledo (656) assigning it definitely to 18 December. It was kept with a solemn octave.

When the Latin Church ceased to observe the ancient custom regarding feasts in Lent, the Annunciation came to be celebrated twice in Spain, viz. 25 March and 18 December, in the calendars of both the Mozarabic and the Roman Rite (Missale Gothicum, ed. Migne, pp. 170, 734). The feast of 18 December was commonly called, even in the liturgical books, "S. Maria de la O", because on that day the clerics in the choir after Vespers used to utter a loud and protracted "O", to express the longing of the universe for the coming of the Redeemer (Tamayo, Mart. Hisp., VI, 485). The Roman "O" antiphons have nothing to do with this term, because they are unknown in the Mozarabic Rite.

This feast and its octave were very popular in Spain, where the people still call it "Nuestra SeƱora de la O". It is not known at what time the term Expectatio Partus first appeared; it is not found in the Mozarabic liturgical books. St. Ildephonsus cannot, therefore, have invented it, as some have maintained. The feast was always kept in Spain and was approved for Toledo in 1573 by Gregory XIII as a double major, without an octave. The church of Toledo has the privilege (approved 29 April 1634) of celebrating this feast even when it occurs on the fourth Sunday of Advent. The "Expectatio Partus" spread from Spain to other countries; in 1695 it was granted to Venice and Toulouse, in 1702 to the Cistercians, in 1713 to Tuscany, in 1725 to the Papal States.

The Office in the Mozarabic Breviary is exceedingly beautiful; it assigns special antiphons for every day of the octave. At Milan the feast of the Annunciation is, even to the present, kept on the last Sunday before Christmas. The Mozarabic Liturgy also celebrates a feast called the Expectation (or Advent) of St. John the Baptist on the Sunday preceding 24 June.

courtesy of NewAdvent.com

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Don't you ever tell me I don't like the Greeks

This is my favorite religious tale in the corpus of Greek Literature.

Enjoy.

A Reflection for the Christmas Season

Every time Christmas comes around, I love to look at representations of the child Jesus. Statues and pictures which show a God who lowered himself remind me that God is calling us. The Almighty wants us to know that he is defenseless, that he needs men's help. From the cradle at Bethlehem, Christ tells you and me that he needs us. He urges us to live a christian life to the full ­ a life of self-sacrifice, work and joy.

We will never have genuine joy if we do not really try to imitate Jesus. Like him we must be humble. I repeat: do you see where God's greatness is hidden? In a manger, in swaddling clothes, in a stable. The redemptive power of our lives can only work through humility. We must stop thinking about ourselves and feel the responsibility to help others.It can sometimes happen that even well-intentioned people create personal problems ­ really serious worries ­ which have no objective basis whatsoever. These problems arise in persons whose lack of self-knowledge leads to pride and a desire to be the center of attention, to be favoured by everyone. They want to appear always in a good light, to be personally secure. They are not content simply to do good and disappear.

And so, many who could enjoy a wonderful peace of soul and great happiness become, through pride and presumption, unhappy and unfruitful. Christ was humble of heart. Throughout his life he looked for no special consideration or privilege. He began by spending nine months in his Mother's womb, like the rest of men, following the natural course of events. He knew that mankind needed him greatly. He was longing to come into the world to save all souls, but he took his time. He came in due course, just as every other child is born. From conception to birth, no one ­ except our Lady, St. Joseph and St. Elizabeth ­ realized the marvellous truth that God was coming to live among men.

There is a great simplicity also about his birth. Our Lord comes without any fanfare. No one knows about him. On earth only Mary and Joseph share in the divine adventure. And then the shepherds who received the message from the angels. And later on, the wise men from the East. They were the only witnesses of this transcendental event which unites heaven and earth, God and man.

How can our hearts be so hard that we can get used to these scenes? God humbled himself to allow us to get near him, so that we could give our love in exchange for his, so that our freedom might bow, not only at the sight of his power, but also before the wonder of his humility.The greatness of this Child who is God! His Father is the God who has made heaven and earth and there he is, in a manger, "because there was no room at the inn" ­ there was nowhere else for the Lord of all creation.
( by St. Josemaria Escriva)

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Cool!

gonzo jpeg
You are Gonzo the Great.You love everyone, and still you get shot out of a
cannon on a regular basis. Oh, and you are
completely insane and have a strange
fascination for chickens.
ALSO KNOWN AS:The Great Gonzo, Gonzo the Great, Just Plain WeirdSPECIES:Whatever
HOBBIES:Tapdancing blindfolded on tapioca while balancing a
piano on his nose, backwards, five times fast.
FAVORITE MOVIE:"From Here to Eternity...with no brakes."
FAVORITE TV SHOW:"Touched By An Anvil"
QUOTE:"No parachute? Wow! This is so cool!"

Monday, December 12, 2005

Ha! This one was Funny....

You scored as Marines. Semper Fi. You are a true Marine. You are the nation's most devastating fighting force, barring Special Forces. But your place was not easy to get. You endured the harshest basic training of any Armed Force to get where you are, and your reward is the respect and admiration of everyone else (except maybe the Air Force, who may view you as just a dumb grunt. Perhaps it's true, but you just want to fight).

Marines

100%

Army

75%

Navy

57%

Air Force

54%

Coast Guard

14%

Which branch of the Military are you?
created with QuizFarm.com

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Panic Attack

What does one do when one has wine to mull, but no muller to mull it in?

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAh.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

You Belong in London
A little old fashioned, and a little modern.
A little traditional, and a little bit punk rock.
A unique woman like you needs a city that offers everything.
No wonder you and London will get along so well.

Oh well. This is me blogging through finals. Thanks to Donna, Elizabeth, and a lack of O'Herron notes in my possession, which prevents me from studying them. At the moment...

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Sabbatical...

We're going off the air for a couple weeks, folks, as finals approach and broadcasting takes a back seat to study. Well, further back than it already sits.

Comments are still welcome, and the odd manic post may appear as stress levels rise. Keep us all in your prayers until the 16th!

~Fidelio

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Why can't the Catholics teach their children how to sing?

This is really ridiculous. I customarily am in the choir loft of a Sunday morning, and have little opportunity to observe my fellow Mass-goers. However, this Sunday I was sitting in a pew like a real Catholic, and was appalled to see how few, how very few, mouths were moving during the procession, at offertory, and at the close of Mass. Why? WHY WHY WHY? It has always been my greatest gripe about choirs that they make a grand show of singing, or that they turn what should be a beautiful mode of worship into a production for everyone to applaud (horror!) at the end of Mass.

Now, I've dicovered a bigger gripe. Wny aren't the people sitting out there singing? I'm been labouring under the delusion for a year and a half that the choir sits in the loft and leads the singing, and that everyone in the pews follows the singing. If anything, we're there for backup. Not so, I've found, and I'm so very upset. I should look into this. It seems to me that there should be no one on earth more enthusiastic about singing in church, given the numerous biblical recommendations for such activity, especially in the psalms. Why aren't we singing?

I will wager every A I got this semester (okay, and every B-minus) that there are as many Catholics out there not singing at Mass, as there are Protestants who are singing in their own churches on Sunday. The argument has been posited to me in the past, of course, that the Protestants have stripped so much from their worship, especially as regards the liturgy, that they have nothing left to do but sing, so why wouldn't they? I think there's a fallacy in that argument someplace. Just because we've still got the glory and the majesty and the wonder and the awe and the amazingness of the Catholic Church and all her teachings and liturgical traditions doesn't mean we should clam up. It doesn't mean we ought to use the offertory hymn as a brief period of organized noise, which conveniently masks a conversation with out neighbor about the lucidity of the homliy just delivered. No! I won't have it.

I'm typing too fast--there are probably mistakes all in this. More later...must run away and write more papers.

Friday, November 25, 2005

Gasp

People read my blog? They leave comments on my blog?

Oh, my, goodness. Hey, everyone who read my blog! How are you?

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Flying Solo

So, my friend Joseph spent yesterday morning walking around campus and saying, "Happy eucharist!" to everyone he met. Only the Greek scholars got the joke and smiled. Everyone else gave him the same blank, slightly puzzled look that I did.

Thanksgiving is being spent differently for me this year--I'm spending it with myself. Well, myself and about a dozen or so other students, but the main point is that I'm not spending it with my family. It's a holiday about gathering and cooking and eating and eating, doing things with your family, and setting aside everything else to just get along for a day. For my own family, it usually means doing a lot more eating than is probably healthy, seeing as how there are two complete sets of family to visit on The Day, each with it's own turkey, dressing, corn, beans, squash, sweet potatoes, cranberry sauce, dressing, stuffing, potatoes, bread, olives, salad, ham, slaw, onions, carrots, fruit salad, and pies of various denominations. (You never know.) This year, however, my family stayed at home. I stayed at school.

A friend of my mom's said, "Well, you know, we've not spent Thanksgiving with our oldest daughter in three years. It makes Christmastime that much more special." I've realy thought about that a lot in the past 24 hours, and I'll most likely think about it a bit more as the next four days go by. It makes the idea of being by oneself (meaning witout family--I've got an oddly talkative roommate and several other refugees in my room all the time) easier to bear. Christmas is my favorite time of year, something to look forward to starting in February at the latest, and I have a feeling that this one will be extra special. Advent is supposed to be a time of penance and preparation anyway, not one of partying, and this added sacrifice seems like an especially poignant way to start the season.

There's no huge shopping spree ahead for me. There's no Macy's Parade. There's not frantic drive over the hills and through the woods. There's not even the minor concern of making sure the dishes got washed and the cat litter gone clean out. There is only myself and the bowl I used to eat cereal this morning.

I like it.

I miss everyone, though, don't get me wrong. I miss my family and the stress-filled fun we have making dishes and precariously carting them over sundry mountains. I miss my classmates and their tales of home, of thanksgivings past. I miss the opportunity to have a turkey, and to name him Dilbert. Alone is not the preferred way to be on a major holiday whose focus is, according to Hallmark anyway, togetherness.

Time to go back the other direction. I like it. I think that spending this holiday by myself, as I probably will not ever do again in the entire course of my life, will teach me something about it. I also think that it will teach me something about Christmas, and looking forward to it with anticipation that has been flavored by a wait bereft of the teaser-show of Thanksgiving and Christmas shopping and decorating a tree.

All that said, I will admit that I've been listening to Christmas music for three days straight now, but then again most of it is in a foreign language so that doesn't count.

Eucharist is the greek word for Thanksgiving.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

That's it for this hour, folks, but before the break...

In this circumstance we turn our gaze in particular to the suffering and risen Christ. In taking on the human condition, the Son of God accepted to five it in all its aspects, including pain and death, fulfilling in his person the words he spoke at the Last Supper: "Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends' (Jn 15:13). In celebrating the Eucharist, Christians proclaim and share in the sacrifice of Christ, for "by his wounds [we] have been healed' (cf. 1 Pt 2:24) and uniting themselves with him, "preserve in their own sufferings a very special particle of the infinite treasure of the world's redemption, and can share this treasure with others" (Salvifici doloris, n. 27).

The imitation of Jesus, the suffering Servant, has led great saints and simple believers to turn their illnesses and pain into a source of purification and salvation for themselves and for others. What great prospects of personal sanctification and cooperation for the salvation of the world does the path marked out by Christ and by so many of his disciples open to our sick brothers and sisters! It is a difficult path, because the human being does not discover the meaning of suffering and death on his own, but it is always a possible path with the help of Jesus, interior Master and Guide (cf. Salvifici doloris, nn. 26-27).

Just as the Resurrection transformed Christ's wounds into a source of healing and salvation, so for every sick person the light of the risen Christ is a confirmation that the way of fidelity to God can triumph in the gift of self until the Cross and can transform illness itself into a source of joy and resurrection. Is not this the proclamation that echoes in hearts at every Eucharistic celebration when the people proclaim: "Christ has died, Christ has risen, Christ will come again"? The sick, also sent out as labourers into the Lord's vineyard (cf. Christifideles laici, n. 53), by their example can make an effective contribution to the evangelization of a culture that tries to remove the experience of suffering by striving to grasp its deep meaning with its intrinsic incentives to human and Christian growth.

~Joannes Paulus II
From Castel Gandolfo, 6 August 1999, the Transfiguration of the Lord.
Taken from:

L'Osservatore Romano
Weekly Edition in English
25 August 1999

Friday, November 18, 2005

Now what, God?

A listener to the show has written in, telling us of a dear family friend who is dying of cancer. Diagnosed as skin cancer in August, futher study soon revealed that the extent of the disease was much more widespread. After only three months the cancer has spread to the brain and every method of treatment has so far proved unaffected. What, says the listener, are we supposed to think, to say, or to do? Why is this happening, and how on earth are we going to deal with it? I went to the producer with the letter and shared it with him. His comment was the following:

"Our Blessed Lord was proving himself to be the only one who ever came into
the world to die. The cross was not something that came at the end of his life;
it was something that hung over him since the very beginning."
(Life of
Christ)

Hmm. He's enigmatic that way sometimes. But, I think I understand where he was going. We come into this world to live, says the Producer, and the purpose of that life is to know, love, and serve God, and to be then happy with Him in heaven. However, we are also called to enter into the spirit of suffering of Jesus Christ, to take up His cross in our own lives by taking up our own 'crosses,' be they roommates, directors, marketing people, or the guy in the truck next to you whose music is really a bit much. Some are called to embrace that cross more fully than others, in the sense that their cross is much more intimately tied up with the death of the cross, rather than the life of it. There are those who teach us great lessons abour grace and about faith, but they do so in their deaths rather than in their lives. Those are the ones whose deaths are visible, prepared for, and agonizingly real for all those involved with it. It's an experience to learn from.

However, I remain at a loss as to what I can really tell the listener. This all sounds nice, but at the end of the day you are still left with a dying friend, a grieving family, and a fist one can but shake at God in frustration. Does theological babble really help? Does knowing that redemptive suffering exists really help? No. You're stuck here, you don't know what to do or say, and you can only watch. I feel for the listener, I reach out to them, but I'm helpless.

This is oddly familiar to me, though. It was exactly this time a year ago that another listener, from an older show of ours, went through this very thing. His friend was diagnosed with cancer, dying barely two months later. What could I say? Nothing. What could I do? Nothing. One can pray, and wait, and be patient, and do a lot of listening.

Good luck, listener. We're praying for you.

China Arrests Priests and Seminarians

VATICAN CITY

Chinese authorities have arrested a priest and 10 seminarians from that nation's underground Roman Catholic Church, a Vatican-affiliated news agency said Friday.

President Bush, who is due to visit China as part of an eight-day trip to Asia, called on China's leadership this week to give the public more religious freedom and other liberties.

The Rev. Yang Jianwei and the seminarians were detained Nov. 12 in Xushui City in Hebei province, a traditional stronghold of Catholic sentiment in northern China, AsiaNews reported.
Six of the seminarians were released later, but Yang and the four others remain in police custody, it said.

Calls to local police seeking confirmation of the report went unanswered late Friday.
The latest arrests apparently came shortly after security forces detained Bishop Julius Jia Zhiguo, 70, from the non-government controlled Catholic church for the eighth time in two years, a U.S.- based monitoring group said Nov. 10.

Government agents took the elderly bishop from his home in the northern city of Zhengding on Wednesday, according to the Cardinal Kung Foundation.

A day earlier, police also detained two other priests from Jia's diocese, the Rev. Li Suchuan and the Rev. Yang Ermeng, it said.

Religious groups say Jia has been repeatedly detained over his refusal to affiliate himself with the Communist Party-controlled Catholic Patriotic Association, which rejects Vatican authority over issues such as the naming of bishops.

China broke ties with the Vatican in 1951 and demands that Catholics worship only in churches approved by a state-controlled church group that does not recognize the pope's authority.
Worship is allowed only in government-controlled churches, which recognize the pope as a spiritual leader but appoint their own priests and bishops.

Many Chinese Catholics, however, remain loyal to the Vatican and risk arrest by worshipping in unofficial churches and private homes. They are frequently harassed, fined and sometimes sent to labor camps.

The government's Catholic church claims 4 million believers. The Cardinal Kung Foundation, a U.S.-based religious monitoring group, says the unofficial church of Chinese loyal to Rome has 12 million followers.

Pope Benedict XVI has been reaching out to Beijing in a bid to bring all Chinese Catholics under Rome's wing. China has said it would like better relations with the Holy See, but it wants the Vatican to cut its diplomatic ties to Taiwan.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

The Tempest

At least, I think it's fun. See what happens when a little wind invades your office....

Sunday, November 13, 2005

some thoughts...

* For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong. (H L Mencken)

* Every decision you make is a mistake. (Edward Dahlberg)

* Our business in life is not to succeed, but to continue to fail in good spirits. (Robert Louis Stephenson)

* Only one thing is certain - that is, nothing is certain. If this statement is true, it is also false. (AncientParadox)

* Even if you're on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there. (Will Rogers)

* There is nothing more requisite in business than dispatch. (Joseph Addison)

* There is nothing more frightful than ignorance in action.(Goethe)

* A moment's insight is sometimes worth a life's experience. (Oliver Wendell Holmes)

* Thinking is the hardest work there is, which is probably the reason why so few engage in it. (Henry Ford)

* If everyone is thinking alike, then somebody isn't thinking. (George Patton)

* Those who agree with us may not be right, but we admire their astuteness. (Cullen Hightower)

* Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat. (SunTzu)

* Planning without action is futile; action without planning is fatal. (Unknown)

* The general who wins the battle makes many calculations inhis temple before the battle is fought. The general who loses makes but few calculations before hand. (Sun Tzu)

* Confidence is what you feel before you comprehend the situation. (Proverb)

* A computer lets you make more mistakes faster than any invention in human history - with the possible exceptions of handguns and tequila. (Mitch Ratliffe)

Thursday, November 10, 2005

HISTORY - BIRTHDAY OF THE U.S. MARINE CORPS...

Around the world, final preparations are being made for the birthday of the U.S. Marine Corps. The annual celebration on the 10th of November is an integral part of the customs and traditions of one of the elite military organizations in the world. However, this was not always the case. Before 1921, the birthday of the Marine Corps was celebrated on July 11. During the American Revolution, American Marines had distinguished themselves, but at the close of the war the Marine Corps was all but disbanded.

On July 11, 1798, President John Adams approved legislation that created the U.S. Marine Corps. It was against this backdrop that a Marine historian, Major Edwin McClellan and Major General John A. Lejeune, one of the Corps' greatest Commandants, set in motion the annual birthday observances that Marines have grown to cherish over the past 84 years. On October 21, 1921, Major McClellan, then the Corps' chief historian, sent a memorandum to General Lejeune that would forever change the way Marines celebrate their proud heritage. McClellan suggested that the original birthday of the Corps, the date the Continental Congress authorized raising two battalions of Marines in 1775, be celebrated throughout the Corps. The suggestion made sense to General Lejeune and, on November 1, 1921, he issued Marine Corps Order No. 47, Series 21.

The order summarized the history, mission, and traditions of the Corps. The Commandant directed that it be read to every command each subsequent year on November 10 in memory of that resolution of the Continental Congress. On October 28, 1952, then Commandant of the Marine Corps, General Lemuel C. Shephard, Jr., directed the celebration of the Marine Corps birthday be formalized throughout the Corps, and provided an outline for a cake-cutting ceremony.

This outline was incorporated in the Marine Corps Drill Manual approved January 26, 1956. Thus, on November 10 each year around the world where U.S. Marines are serving, there will be a commemoration including the reading of Marine Corps Order No. 47 and an annual message from the current Commandant.

SEMPER FIDELIS.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Joy!

Joy is not the same as pleasure or happiness. A wicked and evil man may have pleasure, while any ordinary mortal is capable of being happy. Pleasure generally comes from things, and always through the senses; happiness comes from humans through fellowship. Joy comes from loving God and neighbor. Pleasure is quick and violent, like a flash of lightning. Joy is steady and abiding, like a fixed star. Pleasure depends on external circumstances, such as money, food, travel, etc. Joy is independent of them, for it comes from a good conscience and love of God. (Fulton J. Sheen)

Monday, November 07, 2005

The director speaks...

I've decided that a little work needed to be done on this radio show, so here it is. Below are two rather self-explanatory posts, which I suggest you read, as they are most interesting.

Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen is now the official 'mascot' of the show, and under the title "Servant of God" is our patron. Hopefully I'll be able to legally post some excerpts from his writings at a later date. However, legality must be adhered to above all--of all the people in the world, that wonderful man knew how the publishing world worked, and he'll understand.

Until then, buy the books. They're all really good. Really.

~Fidelio
Director, Midnight Radio Productions

Prayer for the Cause of Bishop Sheen's Canonization

Heavenly Father, source of all good and all holiness, You reward those who love and serve You faithfully as Your sons and daughters. If it pleases You, I ask You to glorify Your servant, Archbishop Fulton John Sheen. He touched countless lives by his ministry of evangelization, especially through the media. His clear and courageous teachings about Jesus and the truths of the Catholic Church seemed to possess a special power of the Holy Spirit that strengthened the faithful and inspired many converts to embrace the Faith. He supported the needs of missionaries all over the world through his work in the National Office for the Propagation of the Faith. He also labored zealously for the renewal of the Priesthood by preaching retreats to his brother priests and by encouraging them with the good example of his daily Eucharistic Holy Hour. His deep personal love of Our Lady moved many others to go to Jesus through His Mother.
Heavenly Father, if it be according to Your Divine Will, I ask You to move Your Church to glorify Your faithful servant, Archbishop Fulton John Sheen. I ask this prayer confidently in Jesus' Name. Amen.

The Producer is introduced...

1895–Born on May 8th in El Paso, Illinois, the oldest of four sons of Newton and Delia Fulton Sheen though he was baptized Peter John, throughout his life he was known by his mother’s maiden name, Fulton. After his baptism, his mother dedicated him to the Blessed Virgin Mary, a dedication he himself renewed at his First Holy Communion. He lived with his family for a time on a farm outside Peoria, Illinois.

1900–His family moved to Peoria in order that young Fulton could enroll in St. Mary’s Cathedral [Parochial] School. He often served Mass at the Cathedral.

1909–He attended High School at the Spalding Institute in Peoria staffed by the Brothers of Mary.

1917–He attended St. Viator’s College, Bourbonnais, Illinois, and later St. Paul’s Seminary in St. Paul, Minnesota.

1919–On September 20th, Fulton Sheen was ordained a “Priest forever” for the Diocese of Peoria. At the time of his Priestly Ordination, he made his famous promise to make a “Eucharistic Holy Hour” which he kept faithfully for the rest of his life.

1920–After ordination he began two years of postgraduate studies in Theology at Catholic University in Washington D.C., and another year at the University of Louvain in Belgium.

1923–He attended further theological classes at the Sorbonne in Paris and the Angelicum in Rome.

1923–He returned to the University of Louvain where he became the first American to receive the Cardinal Mercier Prize for International Philosophy as well as attain-ing the “Aggrage” degree with outstanding distinction.

1925–He spent 9 months working in St. Patrick’s, an inner city parish in Peoria.

1926–He began teaching Theology, then Philosophy and Religion at Catholic University in Washington DC. He was to remain there till 1950. He also began local radio broadcasting in the New York area.

1930–He began his national radio broadcast, “The Catholic Hour” which continued for some 22 years, reaching an estimated four million listeners.

1934–He became a Very Rev. Monsignor.

1935–He is made Right Rev. Monsignor.

1950–He become the National Director of the Society for the Propagation of the Faith supervising 129 diocesan directors throughout the country. He held this position till 1966.

1951–He was consecrated a Bishop in Rome by Cardinal Piazza in the Church of Sts. John & Paul on June 11, 1951.In the Fall of 1951 he began his famous television series entitled, “Life is Worth Living”. It eventually reached an estimated 30 million viewers each week. He won an Emmy Award for “Most Outstanding Television Personality” in 1952. His series ran with great success till 1957.

1962–He attended all of the Vatican Council sessions in Rome, ending in 1965.

1966–He was named Bishop of the Diocese of Rochester, New York on October 26th.

1969–He resigned as Bishop of Rochester. As he said, “I am not retiring, only retreading”. Pope Paul VI named him Archbishop of the Titular See of Newport (Wales). The Archbishop remained relatively active, spending last years of his life chiefly in writing and preaching.

1979–On October 3rd, the Archbishop experienced one of the greatest moments of his life when Pope John Paul II embraced him in St. Patrick’s Cathedral, The Holy Father said to him, “You have written and spoken well of the Lord Jesus. You are a loyal son of the Church!”. On December 9th God called the Archbishop from this life to his eternal reward.

2000–On September 14th, the Congregation for the Causes of Saints officially opened the Cause of Archbishop Sheen, and conferred on him the title “Servant of God”.

Rats

Because of a minor infraction, a shipmate of mine aboard the USS Reeves, bound for Japan, was busted one rank, fined and given extra duty for three weeks. Looking forward tocelebrating his 21st birthday on July 22, he consoled himself every night during his extra duty by reciting, "They can bust me, they can fine me -- but they can't take away my birthday."

As July 22 approached, his excitement increased. When he went to bed on July 21, he happily repeated,"They can bust me, they can fine me -- but they can't take away my birthday."

The next morning, he found out that the ship had crossed the international date line -- and it was July 23.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Saturday, November 05, 2005

...wherein I'll catch the conscience of the King.

So, I've gone and joined the Chess Ladder here at school. If you've heard of one, skip this paragraph. If you haven't heard of one, you might need to skip this paragraph anyway, because my explanations of things are worth about as much as a necktie in a herpetologist's office. A chess ladder is a thing where you sign up, play other people, and win or lose points based on whether you win or lose the game. You move up or down the ladder according to how many points you have.

I'm at the bottom.

Well, that's not strictly true. I'm fourth from the bottom, but that's only because there are three people who have lost more games than I have. I had one win to my name. And one almost win. And one total shocker of a loss, seeing as how the winner nearly had a heart attack when he realized that I had one. It was funny.

The problem with me playing chess, though, is that I can't. My ability to strategize and be crafty is worth about as much as a...well, never mind. Besides, I can't even tell how many innings there are, and there is not a quarterback to be found among my pieces. How do they expect me to play any game without a quarterback? Anyway, I'm on a quest to find someone who is even worse at chess than I am.

This could take a while.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

See Hamlet run. Run, Hamlet, run.

Oh, my word. This really is funny. Kudos to Mark at TPT for finding it first...

Sunday, October 30, 2005

The fray's the thing...

Argh. I've been going through all the dresses which I custodyed (is that a verb now?) for Oktoberfest, and and so sad to find a few in need of repairs. Angry is I.

So, it's a beautiful day outside, with trees turning lovely colors and the breeze blowing, the temperature just perfectly cool after a few days of bone-chilling rain. Oh, yes. God is good to us here in the mid-southeast-central region. Coast. Thing.

However, all this good stuff does me no good--I'm stuck inside the library working on an exegesis. Wait...what am I thinking? There is the entirety of Macbeth and Othello to be read! Off I go, to a sunnier clime. Exegetical suffering may be deferred to Monday with no alteration to the warranty thereof. Must be 18 or older to play, offer not valid outside the Unuted States, void where prohibited.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Calvin and Hobbes

Well, they don’t jump off of roofs with sheets around their shoulders, but the younglings I spent yesterday afternoon with were certainly a lively bunch. You see, my roommate baby-sits for one of the professors on Monday afternoons, but she was sadly taken with a sore throat and couldn’t make it. Being the sweet and generous soul that I am, however, I offered to take her place and watch the little darlings myself. Boy, did I get a show.

The first thing that happened when I arrived was a general putting on of shoes. You see, since its been raining and the temperature has not gotten above 45 degrees in the last four days, wearing shoes while playing outside is usually considered a good thing. Yeah. Anyway, we all put on our shoes and I got to (slowly) accustom myself to the crown, which moved at a rate of velocity roughly equivalent to that of electrons. I could have sworn when I arrived there were ten heads running around that yard, in various sizes, and stages of undress. “Maddie, put your shirt on.” Anyway, after a while the movement slowed to light speed and I began learning names, connecting faces, and getting a more accurate body count.

There were only nine.

The fifteen, fourteen, and twelve year olds took care of themselves. They found food (all boys) and trooped upstairs to promptly be quiet for the ensuing two hours. That left me six. Twins age of ten (boys), a seven, a five (both boys), a three, and a one (both girls). Hoo-boy. The really fun part was when they had me guess all their middle names (each has two). I had the first names given to me by mom and they were pretty easy, being largely drawn from the canon of the Mass. However, the saints in the middle were a little more obscure. I felt somewhat uneducated when I was guessing name number four.

“This saint talked to the fish and when he died everything shriveled up but his tongue.”

Turned out, it was St. Anthony of Padua. Cool. Only a ten-year-old boy could find it in his unsqueamish little heart to give the babysitter that clue. I guessed most of the rest of them with ease, though, once some obscure feature was trotted out for my guessing aid and enjoyment. These are really well-rounded kids, man! I mean, the next thing that happened was a play production, of all things. They sat me down in the darkened bedroom (bunk beds make a better puppet theatre than any other article of furniture have ever seen) got all the little ones quiet, and a ten and a seven performed A Midsummer Night’s Dream. It went like this:

Mickey Mouse: Hello, everyone! I’m here to introduce our play, Midsummer Night’s Dream, and the star of the show, Donald Duck.
[enter Donald, left]
Donald Duck: Hello!
MM: Okay, let’s begin!
[exit Mickey right, Donald left]
[enter Donald, lies down and begins to snore]
[enter Mickey, with Lincoln Log gun]

MM: Wake up, Donald! It’s time to go hunting!
DD: Oh, boy!
[produces Lincoln Log gun from thin air]
DD: Let’s go this way!
[they hunt up left, down right]
MM: Nope, let’s try the other way!
[hunt up right, down left]
DD: There’s something!
[sounds of gunfire, giant stuffed duck enters center, quite dead]
MM: Yay! Let’s cook him!
DD: Yeah!
[they cook the duck and eat him, duck exit up]
MM: Time to throw out the bones!
[various Lincoln Log bones are spewed forth from the stage into the audience. One-year-old’s face covered by babysitter]
DD: That was great!
[exit Mickey, scene change, Donald sleeping]
DD: (waking up) Wow. What a great dream that was!
[enter Mickey]
MM and DD: The End! (bow)
[curtain]

I kid thee not. I’m going to write a paper on it for my Shakespeare class someday. It was just too rich. Anyway, I recovered from that to my immense self-satisfaction, no diaphragm muscles were damaged, and we moved on to something slightly less edifying, yet still culturally rich. Catholic Simon Says. This disintegrated into a tickling party after a while, though, so we got up and decided to play the piano. This was the miracle bit. Each one of the noisy, rambunctious, excitable little guys say down in some manner or another (theoretically the feet should be closer to the ground than the head, but I’m not picky) and watched me play the piano. I sight read a Chopin Waltz for them, played the first movement of the Moonlight Sonata for them, and then (really impressive) did the Pink Panther Theme. That was their favorite.

In fact, when mom got home that was the first thing she was told.

“Mom she plays Pink Panther!”
“He’s wearing my shoes even though they’re to big and I can’t wear his make him give them back!”
“Can I go to Cameron’s house?
“No, I didn’t finish my school!”
“I’d hadded a dordy diaper, mommy!”
“Aaaaaaa burble burble.”
“And she’s the first babysitter we’ve had who was good at piano and she’s the weirdest babysitter we’ve ever had and she’s left handed!”

I think I made an impression. Mom asked me if I’d come armed when I return on Monday to watch them again.

Most Decorated Boat Honored With Coin

After completing nineteen daring deployments over a stunning thirty year career, The U.S.S. Parche, the most decorated boat in U.S. Navy history, lowered her colors for the last time in the fall of 2004.

Parche (pronounced PAR-chee) was the last of the Navy’s thirty-seven Sturgeon-class attack submarines to be decommissioned. During her career, Parche earned an unprecedented nine Presidential Unit Citations. Additonally, the sub was awarded ten Navy Unit Commendations and thirteen Navy Expeditionary Medals. Parche also holds the U.S. record for submerged endurance.

During one of the boat’s legendary deployments in 1982, under the leadership of Captain Peter Graef, Parche maintained submersion for an amazing 124 days before resurfacing.

Demonstrating its remarkable endurance, Parche came close to breaking its own record in 2002, when the boat and her crew completed a 121-day submerged deployment.

Many former crewmembers expressed the desire to commemorate Parche after learning she was going to be taken out of active duty after thirty years of service, but one man stepped forward and took up the challenge. In anticipation of Parche’s decommissioning ceremony, Senior Chief Petty Officer Shaun Peirsel, who served on board Parche from May of 2000 until August of this year, spearheaded an effort to have a special commemorative coin made to honor the service of the boat and her crew. “I wanted to do something special to honor the ship’s history and to help carry on her name,” Peirsel said. “The coin seemed to me to be the best way to make it happen.”

With this goal in mind, Peirsel began to sketch out the coin’s design. In early 2004, he set out to find a company capable of transforming his vision into reality. After months of scouring the internet, he made contact with Northwest Territorial Mint. Working closely with the company’s design team, he was able to create a unique commemorative coin worthy of Parche’s proud heritage.

More than just a symbol of Parche, the 1,100 coins produced by Northwest Territorial Mint exclusively for the boat’s decommissioning were made from metal taken directly from the Parche itself. Eighty-seven of the original 1,100 coins that were produced at Northwest Territorial Mint’s facility in Auburn, Washington were presented in August of 2005 to the members of Parche’s final crew. These eighty-seven coins contained a special reverse and were inscribed with the names of the respective crew members.

The remaining 1,013 coins, which were distributed to Parche’s past crew members, featured a more generic reverse and were not inscribed with the names of the recipients. With the original coins distributed, Northwest Territorial Mint has announced plans to mint a second coin commemorating Parche. The new coins will be struck using the same die as the original but will not contain any metal from the boat.

The first Parche (SS 384) was commissioned in 1943 and earned acclaim during World War II as part of the Navy’s famous Pacific Submarine Force. During her five years of service, the boat earned two Presidential Unit Citations.

“All of us who served on Parche were aware of how important that first boat was,” said Peirsel. “We were proud to continue in that great tradition.”

The reverse of the coin that Peirsel helped to design bears the shield of the Parche, inscribed with the Latin phrase “Par Excellence,” the motto shared by both boats. Parche is depicted returning from her last mission on the coin’s obverse. Flying high above her deck are the Presidential Unit Citation and Navy Unit Commendation flags.

The new coin salutes Parche’s outstanding service to the Navy and the nation at large. As he considered the final commemorative coin, Chief Peirsel said “I hope it helps people come to appreciate Parche and how important the ship was to America’s naval history.”

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Good stuffs.

Hey, peoples. I added a bunch of new links to the sidebar, all blogs of good friends. Check them out.

Fall break has been a whirlwind--only two full days left of it, and those will be spent in peace and quiet at the convent! I'm so excited...three days with nuns and their wonderful cooking. I love it.

It seems like I've done nothing all week but spend money. Buying clothing is a depressing, boring, and not-really-fun-at-all occupation, which I plan on not doing at all for at least the next seven years or so. There's going to be a shopping famine in my house, just you wait and see.

Oh well. Buying lunch for the birthday girl and fun stuff like that was totally worth it. I'd do it again. But not for a whole week, gosh, no. My poor mommy hasn't gotten to see me at all. I think she misses me, judging from the longing look I get across the dinner table from time to time.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Librarian Finds Lost Beethoven Score in Dusty Cabinet

( Historic work missing for 115 years gives rare insight into composer's methods)
by Jamie Wilson in Washington
Friday October 14, 2005
The Guardian

A handwritten score of one of Ludwig van Beethoven's most revolutionary works has been discovered by a librarian cleaning out a cabinet in a seminary in Pennsylvania after being missing for more than a century.

The 80-page manuscript for a piano version of Grosse Fuge, thought to have been written by Beethoven himself, dates from the final months of his life when he was completely deaf. The work was described by scholars of the German composer yesterday as an "amazing find" and "extremely important".

The lost work came to light in July when Heather Carbo, a librarian at the Palmer Theological Seminary outside Philadelphia, was cleaning out an archival cabinet.

"It was just sitting on the shelf, I was in a state of shock," she told the New York Times. "I'd heard oral history about a Beethoven manuscript, so I recognised what I had found immediately."

The fate of the manuscript has been one of the great musical mysteries since it was auctioned in Berlin in 1890. It is written mainly in brown ink and was described by the New York Times as a furious scattering of notes across the page, with many changes and crossings out.

The work, which went on display yesterday at the evangelical seminary, will be sold at Sotheby's in London on December 1 and is expected to fetch around £1.5m.

Grosse Fuge was composed as the finale for the string quartet in B flat major, Op 130, which Beethoven began in May 1825 and completed in September of that year. It is a notoriously difficult work, and when first performed the audience apparently demanded encores of only two of the movements. "Why not the fugue?" Beethoven demanded. "Cattle! Asses!" he is reputed to have shouted. But despite criticism by contemporaries it is now seen as one of his most important works.

The composer later produced a version for piano, and it is a manuscript of that reworking that has been discovered in Pennsylvania. Stephen Roe of Sotheby's said it was an amazing find: "The manuscript was only known from a brief description in a catalogue in 1890 and it has never been seen or described by Beethoven scholars. Its rediscovery will allow a complete reassessment of this extraordinary music."

Maynard Solomon, a biographer of Beethoven and a world expert on the composer, who has seen a selection of pages from the manuscript, said it was an extremely important find. "It is in beautiful condition and has many interesting compositions and will be the subject of much analytical work because it fills an important gap in the compositional history of one of Beethoven's major works."

Dr Roe said the manuscript was written in brown and black ink, sometimes over pencil, and includes annotations in pencil and red crayon. It shows the extent of Beethoven's reworkings and includes deletions, corrections and deep erasures - occasionally the paper is rubbed right through leaving small holes - smudged alterations and several pages pasted over the original or affixed with sealing wax. The passion that Beethoven endured is also in evidence on the manuscript: the higher and more intense the music becomes the larger the notes.

"What this document gives us is rare insight into the imponderable process of decision-making by which this most complex of quartet movements is made over into a work for piano four hands," Richard Kramer, a musicologist at the Graduate Centre of the City University of New York, told the New York Times.

The manuscript last surfaced at an auction in Berlin in 1890 where it appears to have been purchased by William Howard Doane, a Cincinnati industrialist and hymn writer.

Stuff and nonsense.

I've been alerted to a very interesting blog, which has some neat insight from a Marine currently in Iraq. I thought it was cool.

Yep. And the quarter is winding down and fall break begins at 0920 tomorrow morning. I'm excited. My dear widdle roommates are coming home with me for the week, and we're going to get to go see them nuns from the sidebar, and all sorts of good things are going to happen.

Right now, though, I'm waiting for my fmaily to arrive from their long and arduous drive, at which point I will greet them, send them to their hotel, and promptly head inside to throw a party for roommate number two. At midnight. Considering the fact that I got up at 5 this morning, that really counts for something. Yeah.

Anyway, I'm being psychotically wierd right now, which means I should probably run back and pack my little self up so's I can leave in the morning. Yeah....bye. I'll probably blog over break while I'm writing all those papers that are due.

Beardless in Front Royal

I just gave the lab tech a good laugh. You see, his most definitive characteristic for most of the year was a big, thick, long, dark beard. I mean, this was one heck of a beard for a young man of nineteen summers to be sporting. Anyway, he had this beard at the beginning of the semester when we all had identification cards and things like that issued. This included the photograph which is next to his name on the list of lab technicians. When Mr. Beard is on duty, there is a poster next to the doorway which denotes who is on duty, and a photograph is included for the benefit of the computer crashers and printer killers on campus.

Mr. Beard was well known on campus, and everyone knew him by that beard. Until one day. When the amazing happened.

He shaved.

Oh, wow.

Now he has no beard. His face looks…different. His entire person looks…different. Wow.

Anyway, I approached him just a few minutes ago and asked whether he was planning on perpetrating a heinous crime over break and his shocked response was, “No! Umm…why?” I then went on to explain that a classic sign of criminal behavior is to disseminated one’s photograph widely, then dramatically alter one’s appearance so that the photographs are all rendered ineffectual.
He laughed long in hard as a response to my explanation, and I passed on. My work here is done.

Too good to be true!!

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Trailing by seven points against Air Force with 3 minutes left, Navy appeared destined to relinquish its grip on the coveted Commander-in-Chief's Trophy.
The Midshipmen had gone 24 minutes since their last touchdown, and now they faced a fourth down on their own 29.

"We stayed calm,'' quarterback Lamar Owens said. "We can score quickly when we are doing things right.''

Owens ran 2 yards for a first down, and Navy scored 10 points in the final 2{ minutes to pull out a 27-24 victory Saturday.

Joey Bullen kicked a 46-yard field goal with 0.4 seconds left, capping a stunning comeback before 35,211 rain-soaked, appreciative fans.

Three plays after Owens' first-down rush, Reggie Campbell tied it with a 40-yard run with 2:22 to go. Then, after a shanked 9-yard punt by Air Force's Donny Heaton, the Midshipmen moved 7 yards to set up Bullen's game-winner.

"We just found a way to make one more play at the end,'' Navy coach Paul Johnson said.
The victory gives Navy (2-2) a leg up in its quest to retain the Commander-in-Chief's Trophy, awarded to the team with the best record in games between the three major service academies. Navy won it in 2003 and 2004, and will retain the trophy unless winless Army beats Air Force and Navy.

"We now control our own destiny,'' Johnson said. "We still will have to beat Army, but at least things are up to us and we don't have to worry about needing a win from someone else.''
Air Force (2-4) has lost four straight, and this one - against its archrival - surely hurt more than the rest. The Falcons never trailed until Bullen's low-flying kick sailed through the uprights.
"We had control of the football game, and we let it slip it away from us,'' Air Force coach Fisher DeBerry said.

The Falcons made one first down in the fourth quarter.

"They didn't put us away. They let us hang around,'' Owens said. "When you let a hungry team hang around, that kind of stuff happens.''

Jason Tomlinson had four catches for 114 yards and a touchdown for Navy, which has three straight wins over Air Force for first time since 1977-79.

Shaun Carney threw two touchdown passes and ran for 71 yards for the Falcons, who led 24-14 in the third quarter.

"It hurts. The goals of our program are gone,'' Carney said. "I guess it's still possible to go to a bowl game, but we've got to play for ourselves.''

Down by 10 at the half, Navy closed to 17-14 on a 61-yard touchdown pass from Owens to Tomlinson early in the third quarter.

Air Force answered with a 7-yard TD run by Justin Handley, but Navy made it 24-17 when Tomlinson's 37-yard catch led to a field goal by Bullen with 5 seconds left in the third quarter.
The Midshipmen didn't get into Air Force territory again until Campbell caught a 29-yard pass one play before his touchdown run.

A driving rain let up before the start of the game, but the wet field contributed to five fumbles during a sloppy first half that ended with Air Force up 17-7.

After Navy's opening possession ended with an interception, Air Force peeled off 12 straight runs, half of them by Jacobe Kendrick, to set up a 20-yard field goal by Scott Eberle.
Two plays later, Air Force linebacker Aaron Shanor recovered a fumble on the Navy 27, and the Falcons went up 10-0 on an 8-yard touchdown pass from Carney to halfback Chad Smith.

Air Force moved to the Navy 17 on its next possession, but the drive was cut short by Keenan Little's interception in the end zone. The Midshipmen then closed to 10-7 when Karlos Whittaker scored on a 3-yard run to cap a 16-play drive that consumed nearly eight minutes.

The touchdown came with 66 seconds left in the half, but Air Force wasn't done. Carney rolled to his right and threw long down the middle to a wide-open Greg Kirkwood, who caught the ball inside the 5 and squeezed into the end zone with 6 seconds left.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

For behold, darkness shall cover the earth.

We call it an eclipse, and it has singlehandedly saved more herioc storybook characters than any other natural phenomenon on the planet. But that has nothing to do with this. This is an 'I'm still alive' post. I'm still alive.

School has been going quite well. I'm getting away with what I hope is an A- average (or it will be when I get a certain exam back), everything looks tasty, and there is only one paper and two exams between me and a week of freedom. Freedom being a relative term, of course. Freedom to write an exegesis, read all of Macbeth, read almost all of Lord Jim, write a paper on Till We Have Faces, and get geared up for spending three days with the nun. All of which I plan to do using my clone, whilst I sleep.

Actually, I think I need a little bit of that now. I'm really writing odd things. Let me compose myself and try and say something normal...

composing.....


composing.....

Allright. Highlights of the semester so far have been varied and interesting. The most recent was my involvement in the Oktoberfest event on Saturday. That was grand fun--I ran all over the countryside, going to orchards, getting straw bales, buying and carting pumpkins about, wrapping crepe paper in the German national colors all over every pillar in sight, and just generally having a crazy busy time of it for about two weeks. Lots and lots of people were extremely helpful, though, (some more than others) and so it ended up going off without a visible hitch.

That sentence should be read to mean: Few if any of the people attending were aware of how narrowly we avoided having the entire event bomb, much less how often that narrowness happened.

Oktoberfest was fun. I got my toenail busted real good in the polka contest, which means I won the prize for "leaving most blood on dance floor" (just kidding), and all the professors were telling me that the event went well, and there was good beer I'm told, and all was hunky-dory. What a wierd word....wow. Anyway. Where was I?

Oh, yes. Another highlight had been going to Washington DC every Saturday to pray and counsel at the abortion clinic. We did not go this past saturday due to Oktoberfest, and I really missed it. The chance to get away and concentrate on the prayer and everything is nice, because its so easy to get distracted by school and things while on campus. I enjoy going, and I hope that the situation with our transportation (its a little shaky from week to week) gets itself all sorted out, especially since the winter months mean many fewer trips because of bad weather. Our chances to go are mainly in the fall and spring.

Yet another highlight was the recent rash of really rambunctious pranks we had going on. For example, a group of gentlemen arrived home one afternoon to find only the controllers missing from their Nintendo and Playstation systems. They're also missing a camoflauge suit, too, but I don't know if they've discovered it's absence. Then, there was the great pillow steal, and the great pillow return, and the great throw-the-head-ra's-furniture-out-the-window-on-a-school-night-because-you-can prank, and the steal-the-head-ra's-ties-and-give-them-to-everyone-to- wear-the-next-day prank, and the steal-darth-vader-and-put-him-at-the-podium-in-the-commons-for-breakfast-to-give-everyone-a-heart-attack prank, and many others. That was a good week.

Academically speaking, I can't tell you much. Having spent a year here now and become better able to see how the liberal arts system of education works, I have a little more insight. I now understand that having history, theology, philosophy, and political science all overlap in their course material is a good thing. Reinforcement, as it were, in addition to the obvious fact that you get all this really neat perspective on what you learn, be hearing about it from different angles. For example. we read Machiavelli for history the week before he got brought up in polysci, and now we all know what our philosophy and theology professors are talking about when he gets mentioned. Very cool stuff.

However, the cool stuff will have to be on hold till I get back on here to waste time. A paper wants writing (due next friday) and I've a test in literature in 44 hours.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Terri Schiavo's Parents Address Local Baptist Convention

by John Graeber
posted October 3, 2005

In a brief, emotional moment at Highland Park Baptist Church Monday night, Bob and Mary Schindler, the parents of Terri Schiavo addressed the Southwide Baptist Fellowship, a conference for Baptist ministers.

Looking weary Bob Schindler strengthened his voice to say, "If not for God we could not have endured this process." He expressed their profound gratitude for the support they have received from the Christian community during an ordeal that is still very real and present in their lives.Mr. Schindler went on to say that "people like Terri are victimized and nobody knows about it." He related how "many families have shared with them how their loved ones are being murdered."

Dr. David Gibbs III, one of the Schindlers' attorneys, described at length Terri's condition and described the last days of her life. Sharing how her health rapidly deteriorated, her demeanor changing from outgoing and engaging, to a struggle for survival, Dr. Gibbs asked how a civilized nation could allow a person to be "put to death in such a barbaric fashion." He also related how foreign journalists would ask "by what moral authority does the United States let this woman die."The crowd at Highland Park stood to their feet as the Schindlers werepresented with a plaque to recognize their long and hard fight on behalf of their daughter.

The Southwide Baptist Fellowship was honoring the Schindlers "for their courageous stand defending the life of their daughter, Terri Schindler-Schiavo."The Southwide Baptist Fellowship is celebrating its 50th anniversary at Highland Park Baptist Church.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Some stuff....

Courtesy of a friend of mine....history as it really happened.

1.. Ancient Egypt was inhabited by mummies and they all wrote in hydraulics. They lived in the Sarah Dessert. The climate of the Sarah is such that the inhabitants have to live elsewhere.

2.. The Bible is full of interesting caricatures. In the first book of the Bible, Guinessis, Adam and Eve were created from an apple tree. One of their children, Cain, asked, "Am I my brother's son?"

3.. Moses led the Hebrew slaves to the Red Sea, where they made unleavened bread, which is bread made without any ingredients. Moses went up on Mount Cyanide to get the ten commandments. He died before he ever reached Canada.

4.. Solomon had three hundred wives and seven hundred porcupines.

5.. The Greeks were a highly sculptured people, and without them we wouldn't have history. The Greeks also had myths. A myth is a female moth.

6.. Actually, Homer was not written by Homer but by another man of that name.

7.. Socrates was a famous Greek teacher who went around giving people advice. They killed him. Socrates died from an overdose of wedlock. After his death, his career suffered a dramatic decline.

8.. In the Olympic games, Greeks ran races, jumped, hurled biscuits, and threw the java.

9.. Eventually, the Romans conquered the Greeks. History calls people Romans because they never stayed in one place for very long.

10.. Julius Caesar extinguished himself on the battlefields of Gaul. The ides of March murdered him because they thought he was going to be made king. Dying, he gasped out:"Tee hee, Brutus."

11.. Nero was a cruel tyranny who would torture his subjects by playing the fiddle to them. 12.. Joan of Arc was burnt to a steak and was cannonized by Bernard Shaw.

13.. Finally Magna Carta provided that no man should be hanged twice for the same offense.

14.. In midevil times most people were alliterate. The greatest writer of the futile ages was Chaucer, who wrote many poems and verses and also wrote literature.

15.. Another story was William Tell, who shot an arrow through an apple while standing on his son's head.

16.. Queen Elizabeth was the "Virgin Queen." As a queen she was a success. When she exposed herself before her troops they all shouted "hurrah."

17.. It was an age of great inventions and discoveries. Gutenberg invented removable type and the Bible. Another important invention was the circulation of blood. Sir Walter Raleigh is a historical figure because he invented cigarettes and started smoking. And Sir Francis Drake circumcised the world with a 100-foot clipper.

18.. The greatest writer of the Renaissance was William Shakespeare. He was born in the year 1564, supposedly on his birthday. He never made much money and is famous only because of his plays. He wrote tragedies, comedies, and hysterectomies, all in Islamic pentameter. Romeo and Juliet are an example of a heroicouplet. Romeo's last wish was to be laid by Juliet.

19.. Writing at the same time as Shakespeare was Miguel Cervantes. He wrote Donkey Hote. The next great author was John Milton. Milton wrote Paradise Lost. Then his wife died and he wrote Paradise Regained.

20.. During the Renaissance America began. Christopher Columbus was a great navigator who discovered America while cursing about the Atlantic. His ships were called the Nina, the Pinta, and the Santa Fe.

21.. Later, the Pilgrims crossed the ocean, and this was called Pilgrim's Progress. The winter of 1620 was a hard one for the settlers. Many died and many babies were born. Captain John Smith was responsible for all this.

22.. One of the causes of the Revolutionary War was the English put tacks in their tea. Also, the colonists would send their parcels through the post without stamps. Finally the colonists won the War and no longer had to pay for taxis.

23.. Delegates from the original 13 states formed the Contented Congress. Thomas Jefferson, a Virgin, and Benjamin Franklin were two singers of The Declaration of Independence. Franklin discovered electricity by rubbing two cats backwards and declared, "A horse divided against itself cannot stand." Franklin died in 1790 and is still dead.

24.. Soon the Constitution of the United States was adopted to secure domestic hostility. Under the constitution the people enjoyed the right to keep bare arms.

25.. Abraham Lincoln became America's greatest Precedent. Lincoln's mother died in infancy, and he was born in a log cabin which he built with his own hands. Abraham Lincoln freed the slaves by signing the Emasculation Proclamation. On the night of April 14, 1865, Lincoln went to the theater and got shot in his seat by one of the actors in a moving picture show. The believed assinator was John Wilkes Booth, a supposingly insane actor. This ruined Booth's career.

26.. Meanwhile in Europe, the enlightenment was a reasonable time. Voltaire invented electricity and also wrote a book called Candy. Gravity was invented by Issac Walton. It is chiefly noticeable in the autumn when the apples are falling off the trees.

27.. Johann Bach wrote a great many musical compositions and had a large number of children. In between he practiced on an old spinster which he kept up in his attic. Bach died from 1750 to the present. Bach was the most famous composer in the world and so was Handel. Handel was half German half Italian and half English. He was very large.

28.. Beethoven wrote music even though he was deaf. He was so deaf he wrote loud music. He took long walks in the forest even when everyone was calling for him. Beethoven expired in 1827 and later died for this.

29.. The French Revolution was accomplished before it happened and catapulted into Napoleon. Napoleon wanted an heir to inherit his power, but since Josephine was a baroness, she couldn't have any children.

30.. The sun never set on the British Empire because the British Empire is in the East and the sun sets in the West. Queen Victoria was the longest queen. She sat on a thorn for 63 years. She was a moral woman who practiced virtue. Her death was the final event which ended her reign.

31.. The nineteenth century was a time of a great many thoughts and inventions. People stopped reproducing by hand and started reproducing by machine. The invention of the steamboat caused a network of rivers to spring up. Cyrus McCormick invented the steamboat.