Monthly Archives: November 2011

Please Tell Me You Are From Farthest Zenda’s Nepalese Colony

I have just seen an educated person opine that Berke Breathed made up the expression “higgledy-piggledy.”

I know time and chance often combine to keep common words concealed from us. But how….?

Anyway, we have written evidence for “higgledy-piggledy” back in the 1590’s — at which time I’m fairly sure Penguin Opus was not yet waddling the earth, although I vaguely recall some gag where Bill the Cat was Bill Shakespeare.

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Page 656.

I know I still have to go back and do the Summa Dicendum preface to Book 1 and the Isidore preface to Book 2. I know each page is really only about half a page, because of all the manuscript variant notes and footnotes and such. But still, I’m almost to the end of Book 4 of Beatus. Only fourteen pages away, in fact. Mwahahah!

In your face, 1200 years of no translation in English. In. Your. Face.

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“Living the Discerning Life”

Keep forgetting to mention this EWTN show, which is a very practical and useful look at Ignatian discernment teaching. It’s particularly useful to people who have trouble with the ups and downs of spiritual life, or even of normal life (because obviously, that’s spiritual). Like a lot of this stuff, there’s some bits which are a lot like an owner’s manual for dealing with our own individual personalities, and our personal strengths and weaknesses.

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Rescue Dog Repays New Family

Robber not particularly happy about it.

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Licorice as Black as Deathhhhhhh….

There are actually credible health problems associated with black licorice. And salty licorice, too.

Sigh. I was always a bit suspicious about the salty licorice. But not the normal sweet black kind.

OTOH, I’ve actually eaten a 16 oz bag of black licorice in my time (okay, back at college), and had absolutely no health effects, except the “black” (really green) food coloring changing the color of the applicable intestinal waste.

Also, glycyrrhetinic acid is supposed to be good for a woman’s hormonal balance, so there’s that.

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When Mr. Natural Gas Is No Longer Your Friend

A horrifying natural gas accident in my neck of the woods.

Still, it seems so far that nobody was killed, which is really amazing. (Except that one man is still unaccounted for, which seems ominous.)

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Violette Malan

Just read her latest book, Path of the Sun. It’s part of a sword and sorcery series about a couple of honorable mercenary soldiers (they’re part of a worldwide guild/club/order of extremely skilled mercenaries) and the various sorts of magical and political trouble they get into, along with their friends. The worldbuilding is interesting and you learn a lot as the book goes along, but there’s no long lectures to bore you. (I wish more famous authors would learn this.)

It’s nice to read a fantasy book that both isn’t ashamed of itself for being fantasy, and which gives its characters values and motives that actually drive them. It’s not “epic”, per se; but it’s got plenty of scope to keep the characters guessing. The protagonists aren’t perfect or invulnerable, but they’ve got plenty of oomph to get things done. And that’s good, because the villains are pretty formidable. I did expect a little bit more of an Exciting Climax; but the climax was plenty satisfying without being the same old thing. All in all, an interesting book.

I think that I ran across one of the earlier books in this series, though, and they had some kind of incomprehensible “I the author will do something different!” moments that scared me off. (I think it was one of those unnecessary complication things, like “We love each other, and therefore we will date other people!”, based on something said in this book.) But I don’t remember enough about it to be sure.

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Easy Latin for Sight Reading, by B.L. D’Ooge

This guy apparently wrote a lot of textbooks that are now public domain and online.

But Easy Latin for Sight Reading probably will interest those of my readers with a need for speed. :)

“We translate far too much, we read the original far too little. Students should be taught to read, and understand as they read, without translation, from the very beginning.”

He seems solidly in touch with today’s cognitive theory: “Latin that is too hard is worse than useless, and leads to nothing but discouragement and self-depreciation. Students must feel that they can conquer and are conquering from day to day.”

“It is suggested that teachers make frequent use of the selections for oral reading. Our methods of teaching are apt to neglect the ear….”

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“Estne ita ut tibi dixi?” (I told you so, Latin edition.)

Hmm. Seems like Catholic Charities in the Belleville IL diocese decided that they weren’t really Catholic. They dropped their archbishop, their heritage, their moral principles, and their name like a dirty shirt.

And yet, this is something people didn’t want to hear, from Rich Leonardi in our archdiocese, about some of the groups our archdiocese gives money to.

Weeeell, maybe all our folks are now better at being consistent with Catholic ethical standards than the folks over in Illinois. Certainly we can hope so. But I don’t see much use throwing money down a rathole, if the rats will then run off with our money and do their own thing. So I hope there really is more oversight about these things here than there.

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Happy St. Martin’s Day to All Veterans!

And a solemn remembrance of Armistice Day, Veteran’s Day, and Remembrance Day to all.

Here’s an old post about Martinmas.

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Mulio and Mulier

I didn’t mention in my previous post that St. Beatus had made yet another horrible pun on mulier. (One of the Latin words for an adult woman, or in Spain, wife. The Spanish still use “mujer” for wife and woman both.)

Before, we got the standard horrible Latin pun of “mulier” and “molliter”, soft or fleecy.

This time, it was mulier (in the wife meaning) and “mulio”, muledriver. (Which means that a husband and kids are the mules, I guess….)

However, it seems that a “mulio” (civilian or military) was almost always a slave, in the Roman Empire, and it seems to have been a serf or slave job during most of the early Middle Ages, until times got better and reforms set in. So that’s why there was all the talk about the mulio being “cheap” or “worthless”, and also being powerless before authority.

Of course, in most of the early Middle Ages, religious sisters of various sorts were often under strong pressure by their families to leave the convent, if the family suddenly had an advantageous marriage prospect and another daughter home would be useful. (In many cases, even if she had already married and been widowed or divorced.)

But the mulio and field exemplae seem to be directed primarily at sisters who wanted to leave and get married because they felt like it.

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Lego Advent Calendar?

Diary of a Wimpy Catholic has the story.

Downsides — Not only is it Lego, it’s Star Wars Lego. So obviously, you’re counting down toward Life Day…. :) And like a lot of secular Advent calendars, it’s really a December countdown calendar. So obviously you will need more four more Legos than they provide. :)

Seriously, it’s seriously expensive. Nearly forty bucks. There’s a slightly cheaper “Lego City” Advent calendar at Target, but it seems to be a bit much.

Trader Joe’s and Aldi’s sometimes carry nice little paper Advent calendars. You can get the kind with candy under the doors, also. Or you can make one for your kids, with little stickers. It’s not hard. Just draw pictures on paper, and then fit another piece over it with cutout doors.

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Wishing Good Luck to Folks in Alaska

The National Weather Service says, “EXTREMELY DANGEROUS AND LIFE-THREATENING STORM OF AN EPIC MAGNITUDE RARELY EXPERIENCED.”

Hole up and hold on. We’ll be praying for you.

A prayer from the Archdiocese of New Orleans, no stranger to ocean storms:

O God, Master of this passing world, hear the humble voices of your children. The Sea of Galilee obeyed your order and returned to its former quietude; you are still the Master of land and sea. We live in the shadow of a danger over which we have no control… We turn to You, O loving Father… Calm the storms and hurricanes that threaten us and turn our fear of your power into praise of your goodness. Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen.

O Virgin, Star of the Sea, our beloved Mother, we ask you to plead with your Son on our behalf, so that spared from calamities… animated with a true spirit of gratitude, we may walk in the footsteps of your Divine Son to where a stormless eternity awaits us… [in] the heavenly Jerusalem. Our Lady of Prompt Succor, hasten to help us. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

… Amen.

Via American Digest this morning.

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So Did You Vote?

I got up way too early this morning and voted before work. Although I probably should have gotten up even earlier.

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