Monthly Archives: July 2010

People More Likely to Believe You about Friends than Enemies

According to a study of gaming interactions. Via Slashdot.


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Translation for July 27, the feast of Ss. Aurelius, Sabigotho Nathalia, Felix, Liliosa, and George

The 48 known Martyrs of Cordoba are a heck of a story, especially since their martyrdoms were chronicled by a contemporary who was very prolific (and soon to be martyred himself). If you were ever having delusions that Cordoba was a happy lovely fairyland of IDIC and convivencia, St. EulogiusMemorialis Sanctorum would beg to differ.

Anyway, July 27 is when five of them bit the dust in the most non-dhimmi way possible: 2 married couples with kids (Aurelius and Sabigotho, and Felix and Liliosa), and one monk from Jerusalem who picked the wrong town to visit on a fundraising tour (George). This stuff is happening contemporary with Charlemagne.

Here’s the beginning of St. Eulogius’ account of the two couples’ early lives. We can probably trust it, since they were also personal friends of his. But it’s my own translation, so don’t trust that. (And why we don’t have a complete English translation of all this guy’s works, I don’t get. It’s valuable history info.)


From Memorialis Sanctorum, by St. Eulogius of Cordoba.

Book II, Chapter X: Of the holy martyrs Aurelius, Felix, George, Sabigotha, and Liliosa.

1. In addition, there was a certain young man named Aurelius, excellent in birth and in many other things. When in childhood he was bereaved of both his Christian mother and non-Christian* father, he was fostered under his paternal aunt’s most faithful guardianship into the years of adolescence, and he was initially taught to believe truly that Christ is God, and that the Church is the way of salvation, and that the way to the Kingdom of Heaven cannot be discovered elsewhere. The boy drank in the venerable instruction; so when he learned Arabic literature under his relations’ guidance, he was still as guiltless when set before the notice of heavenly souls of the holy faith. No figments of the vanities were able to change him. In fact, his heart always retaining his Christianity, when he would have pursued the fading literature only to be derided for his meditation, he blazed up all the more with love of the Christian faith that, clearly showing the perverse delusions of their dogmas, drew his attention to the subtle fallacies of the demons. And when he could not carry out the observation of the faith publicly, still, commending himself everywhere to God’s priests, he prayed for himself to be better persuaded.

* The terms Eulogius usually uses for “Muslim” are “Gentile” (of the nations) and “pagan” (of the hinterlands). It’s a deliberate choice, not some kind of confusion about Muslim beliefs.

2. Meanwhile, he was carried into the years of youth, maturing vigorously, his cheeks sprouting, and his face adorned with manly beauty. Therefore he was compelled to seek a noble marriage by the persuasive appeals of his worthy relations. So each one of his relations, as he had known they would, claimed this or that one of their daughters to be the best. But he, chewing it over inside in a different way, entrusted to Christ the business of his marriage, pleading to the heavenly divine will with constant interventions of prayers, so that he gave powerful vows about his spouse, that he might make an effort to become better in his private life, and that he might support her in mind and body as a worshipper living a retired life.

Aided by His favor, eventually he learned of a respected virgin flowerbud who was being pressured. She was renowned for her property, elegant in her ways, and most lovely in appearance. She was adorned with a particular attractiveness of outward dress, while inwardly she shone forth with even more outstanding spiritual beauty. Because “all the glory of the king’s daughter” was “within” her – that is, it had traveled into her inmost self. Indeed, “clothed” by sanctity “in golden borders” of “variety” — that is, in virtue — she presented herself as a handmaid to Christ, pleased to be ruled by Him. [Psalm 44:14-15, or in today’s reckoning, Psalm 45:13-14.]

3. This girl, for her part, was born to non-Christian parents who had kept a jealous watch on her from the cradle until the present, when she was bereaved of her father. Her mother took another husband who secretly retained faith in Christ. Rooting up the impieties of error in his new spouse, he desired to bestow Christ upon his stepdaughter, and named her Sabigotho by the sacrament of Baptism. Granted that he allowed himself in public to be thought one of the pagans, he truly bore a staunch soul in both piety and religion.

Hence this girl, herself venerable in youth, taking on the conjugal law, satisfied with the title of “espoused”, by brideprice pledge and in turn by the display of a lawful delivering over of herself, was made sacred by the High Priest’s ministry; and so in an equal exchange, bearing the faith of Christ in another manner in her enclosure, she did not reveal to everyone the mystery of her faith, depressed by the weakness of flesh, in order that there be no diminution of her promises.

4. But the next door neighbor to blessed Aurelius was a man of noble birth named Felix, linked to him even more by holy love, who, vacillating in the faith by the pretexts of the devil, afterwards would sigh deeply over his lapse into collusion. Beyond that, he could not come openly to exercise the religion of Christ. He took as spouse the daughter of hidden Christians, a woman named Liliosa, developed in Christ in a more disguised secluded place.

Therefore, mutually attached immovably to each other, always able to consider themselves one in close friendship, they carried on agreeably, separated neither by prosperity nor adversity; in either case, their affection appeared the same. And this obligation of such kindness pitted them against each other for perfection of brotherly love, so that they would not be divided in life or death, who had glommed equally in religion onto the occasion. Of the merit of which it is said, The saints, “lovable and comely”, in the same way that they love each other “in their life”, so also, even “in death they were not divided”. [2 Kings 1:23, or in today’s reckoning, 2 Samuel 1:23.]


There’s tons more of this stuff. St. Eulogius didn’t know much he could report on some of these martyrs, beyond the necessary names and death dates; but he had pages and pages on these folks’ doings during their trials.

And yes, I think “glommed” is a literal translation of “glomaverunt”. 🙂

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Jane. Austen’s. Fight Club.

Via BoingBoing, a movie trailer produced by a bunch of Mormon young ladies from Los Angeles for a magnificent Austen super-crossover. Made for their local church film festival.

I bet it was a hoot to make.

Normally, I would make noises about costuming inauthenticity. But in this case, it works really well. Given the general departure from Austen reality, the costuming actually makes it more fun — a sort of acknowledgement of makebelieve. (If somebody made a Malory movie, it would almost demand a similar mix of costuming.)

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Die, Canadian Geese, Die!

In retaliation for ruining every piece of greenspace near water, spreading disease, frightening small children, and forcing an airliner to ditch in the Hudson, the great state of New York is going to go all Jaeger on Canadian geese.

To which I say, “Hurray!”

The sad thing is that they plan to euthanize the geese, instead of using the meat. Bah. There’s a lot of good eating on those geese, and the economy isn’t that great. They should be making ’em into goose jerky and passing it out to the poor.

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My Thoughts on Announcements from Comic-Con

1. How did I get into the alternate universe where TV Guide puts out a Comic-Con issue every year?

2. The Avengers look good, but where are all the female Avengers? Sheeeeeesh.

3. If Greg Weisman is running Cartoon Network’s new Justice League cartoon, I am there. With anybody else, i’d be a lot more skeptical about the stupid title (Young Justice) and the prequel concept (about the younger generation heroes just starting out — sort of a slightly older Teen Titans). But Greg Weisman, like Paul Dini, is a name you can trust. And for your dark brooding teenager’s pleasure, Weisman reveals that “not everyone is going to survive”. (Though of course, there are no final deaths in comics. Heck, even Bucky came back in the end.)

4. The new Loony Toons series for WB… it doesn’t look like it’s going to be one more misuse of a classic franchise. It might even be pretty darned funny and fun for the kids. I look forward to seeing it on Saturday mornings this fall — and I didn’t think I would.

4. Apparently Chuck is now supposed to be the story of Philip and Jamie from Scarecrow and Mrs. King. (Okay, not really, but close enough.) Linda Hamilton will play Amanda… er, Chuck’s mommy.

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Fatima Al-Mutairi’s Last Poem

Some of you may remember the story of the Saudi man who killed his daughter for posting while Christian. Apparently, there’s an Arabic poem going around which “Rania” (whose real name is now said to be Fatima Al-Mutairi) posted on an Arabic-language Christian Internet forum shortly before she died. Here it is on Facebook, with an English translation (if you hit “read more” on the first post).

Anyway, here’s my attempt at a translation of the translation.

O Muslims, may the Lord Jesus guide you
And enlighten your hearts to love others.
This Forum does not insult the prophets’ Master;*
It displays truth revealed for you, my brothers.

*(Meaning Jesus, not Mohammed.)

This is the truth which you don’t know.
The words of the prophets’ Master* we profess,
Not worshipping the cross and not possessed.
We worship Lord Jesus, the Light of the Worlds.
We left Mohammed; his way we don’t follow.

We follow Jesus the Christ, the Clear Truth.
We are not traitors; we love our land truly.
We take pride that we are citizens, Saudi.
How could we betray our dear homeland and people?
For Saudi Arabia, for death, we stand ready.
For my grandfathers’ homeland, for their odes and glories,
I write. We say, “We’re proud, proud, proud to be Saudis.”

We chose our way, that of ones guided rightly,
And every man is free to choose any faith.
Be satisfied to leave us believers in Jesus;
Before our time comes, let us live in grace.

Oh, the heart’s sad! There are tears on my cheek!
To those who turn Christian, how cruel you are!
The Messiah says, “Blessed are the persecuted.” Meek
All for the sake of Christ, all things we bear.

If we are infidels, what’s it to you?
You are not dragged with us into our graves.
Enough. I don’t mind swords, evil, disgrace.
Your threats don’t trouble me. We’re not afraid.

By God, I’m a Christian unto death! Truly
I cry for what has passed by — a life so sad.
For many years I was far from Lord Jesus.
O History, record this! And O Witnesses, bear witness!
We are Christians — we walk in Christ’s path.

Take this word from me and note it well,
For Jesus is my Lord, the best of guards, you see.
I counsel, “Clap your hands to mourn for yourself. Pity
Your look of ugly hate, and see.
Man is brother to man, o learned scholars. True?
Then where is the humanity, the love? And where are you?

As for my last words: I pray to the Lord of Worlds,
Jesus the Messiah, the Clear Guidance’s Light,
That He change ideas, set justice’s scales aright,
And spread Love among you, O Muslims.


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It’s Going to Be Over 100 Fahrenheit Today, and Muggy Too

1. Drink lots of water, stay indoors or in the shade, and make sure all your dependents and pets do, too.

2. Drink lots of water. If you’re not having to go to the bathroom, that’s not a good thing.

3. Do not tar and feather that guy who says we should give up A/C. It’s too hot for that.

In related news, it turns out that people who suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder in the winter because there’s not enough sunlight, and then turn around and get it in the summer too, aren’t crazy. Apparently, sustained hot temperatures are also a trigger for your body to stop producing various things, like serotonin. However, if you cool your entire body at least once a day for 30 minutes (like in a cool pool, or a bathtub, or a shower if you’re tough enough), the serotonin will keep being produced. So… floating around in the pool really does cheer you up and help you sleep better at night. 🙂

In other related news, it turns out that a lot of women have low iron levels during the summer. So you’re just going to have to force yourself to eat burgers, shrimp, bean salad, grapes, spinach, nuts, and other iron stuff. Woe and alas. 🙂

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