Daily Archives: February 3, 2009

A Catholic Blogger Goes Silent.

According to his wife Amy Welborn’s blog, Michael Dubruiel collapsed and died today, February 3, 2009.

Michael Dubruiel, like Amy, has been one of the earliest and most persistent Catholic writer/bloggers. His book on the Mass was truly useful to me personally. I never met him, however, and I’m very sorry for that now. I hope to thank him someday in our Father’s house.

Please pray for him, and please pray for his bereaved wife and children.

(Also, now would be a really good time to buy books by Dubruiel or Welborn. Monetary support for those left behind is always handy.) (UPDATE: Amy has asked that you not buy books directly from her at this time, as she’s in no shape to fill orders. However, you can buy from Amazon through her page or Michael’s, as I have linked above.)

Michael Dubruiel himself wrote a book called The Power of the Cross. He wrote, “What death takes away from us, the saving death of Christ can restore. May we never forget that truth, neither when a loved one dies nor at the hour of our death.”

And so we sing:

May the angels lead you into Paradise;
May the martyrs receive you at your coming,
And lead you into the holy city, Jerusalem.
May the choir of angels receive you,
And with Lazarus who once was poor,
May you have eternal rest.

Remembrances are all over the blogosphere, but here’s some from people who knew him personally:
Mike Aquilina</a at The Way of the Fathers.
Thomas Peters at American Papist.
Rod Dreher down in Dallas.
Nancy Carpenter-Brown at Flying Stars.
Pete Vere at Catholic Light.
Kathryn Lopez at the Corner at the National Review.

A place to post “spiritual bouquets” (ie, promises and reports of prayers).

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A Huge Old School Multiverse Crossover Fanfic

Once upon a time, the nice folks on the Babylon 5 Creative Mailing List started a massively huge round robin. It was up on the Web, taken down again, up, down….

Anyway, I thought I’d never see it again. But I did a little searching on the principle that it’s very hard to make something loved disappear, and I found somebody’s copy. Check it out. From the days of the second or third season of Babylon 5, and pretty much every popular series of fans from that time, comes “Convergence”.

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To My Romance-Reading, Ancient Rome-Loving Friend(s)

This Michelle Paver chick also wrote a book called A Place in the Hills, which is a parallel story of an archaeologist and a star-crossed pair of Roman lovers. This seems right up the alley of somebody I know. :)

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Free Book: Wolf Brother by Michelle Paver, read by Ian McKellen

Way back in the summer, the Guardian over in the UK ran a promotion for Audible Audiobooks in the UK. It was one totally free copy of Ian McKellen reading Michelle Paver’s YA novel Wolf Brother (book 1 of a multi-part series, but apparently it stands alone). The associated deal is long over, but the free podcast of the audiobook is still available for download.

I downloaded it a while back but never got around to playing it. So I was listening to it yesterday at work. It’s a pretty good quest book, set in what seems like European prehistory. There are lots of interesting occurrences and beliefs and goings-on, which all seem to be scientifically explicable but which are not explained away. The author treats her prehistoric people like people, with skills and dignity. When they do stupid things, they do them for the same reasons any person does stupid things. There’s a lot of time spent in the wilderness, and it all seems pretty good. The plot is absorbing and well-paced, although there are certain chapters where I think events and conversations could have been condensed a bit. There’s also a lot of explanatory information from the narrator, in case you ever need to put together a shelter in the woods. Finally, there’s even some worldbuilding, as Paver provides her people from 6000 years ago with a plausible, interesting, and reasonably non-cliche culture.

The only moment I totally lost suspension of disbelief (and I’m about halfway through) was when a hungry puppy spent half a night nibbling at a small piece of rawhide without being able to chew through it. I feel that this is gravely unrealistic, as even an unhungry puppy confronted with a small piece of rawhide will usually not just bite through it, but will gulp the whole thing down whole in jigtime. The difficulty is in stopping them from doing such things, not getting them to succeed in them.

Anyway, Ian McKellen’s voice acting and reading is quite good, as you would expect from such a master of acting. He does a good job of putting the characters and events in the forefront and himself in the background, too. (Not all famous actors can do that….)

And it’s free. Sffaudio will fill you in on the details.

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Time Machine of Talk — A Fun History of English Toy!

You can listen to the same dialogue as it might have been pronounced by speakers of Middle English and various stripes of Modern English, up to 1750. You can also hear differences in pronunciation that existed simultaneously.

Well, if you can get it to work, that is. I had to go look at the page sources to get to .wav files, because something’s wrong with the embedding of the sound files. If you have the same trouble, here are direct links to the sound files:

Middle English
1450-1550
1550-1650
1650-1750

I did get “See and Hear the Great Vowel Shift” working, though.

Cool stuff, and a good demonstration of how language is always changing.

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Message to My Credit Card Company

If somebody is spending a lot of money at a bookstore on my credit card, you should know by now that it’s probably me.

Yes, I know it’s a service to put a hold on stuff that’s iffy. But seriously, why do you always put a hold on me buying stuff at bookstores?! If it were large amounts of money being spent on drugs, Vegas casinos, or golf equipment, that really would be out of line for my consumer history. Bookstores? Normality itself.

If some bibliophilic thief should ever steal my credit card, I will promise to strive to regard it in the light of a donation to someone desperate, as long as you don’t put a hold on me buying books anymore. Especially when I’m trying to buy a seriously out of print Irish traditional hymn book at a really quite reasonable price, and you are messing up my credibility as a reputable purchaser. (I have not forgotten all the trouble the poor folks at Meisha Merlin used to have with running my credit card, either.)

Please allow me to spend my money the way I want to, whether it’s on ebooks or the paper and ink kind.

Signed,

Your Grumpy Customer.

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The Secret Pain of Palestinians

According to Lloyd DeMause, “…. a careful survey in the journal [Child Abuse & Neglect] … showed that when questioned, 652 Palestinian undergraduates concluded that 19% were sexually assaulted by a family member, 36% by a relative and 46% by a stranger. Since this adds up to more than 100%, obviously many were abused by more than one person, but the overall conclusion I detailed in my Journal of Psychohistory article entitled “If I Blow Myself Up and Become a Martyr, I’ll Finally Be Loved” (Spring 2006) was that most Palestinians are sexually abused, that men routinely have young boys they rape and that this is not mainly because of poverty because the college students reporting such horrible memories have upper-class families.”

This is very sad and shocking stuff.

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