Monthly Archives: March 2011

Translation Fun

I have started another blog to run my translation of St. Beatus of Liebana’s Commentary on the Apocalypse. Right now, Beatus is pretty much all a transcription (with some simplification of the vocabulary, and a few additions from other Fathers or Beatus himself) of St. Apringius of Beja’s commentary. There will be more goodies and differences later, as Beatus’ book starts to break new ground. (You also get to experience my l33t Latin skillz, which will be a punishment to medievalists for not translating this themselves.)

Anyway, Apringius is pretty interesting all by his lonesome. (I found a copy of the 1991 Latin/Spanish edition of Apringius, so as to know what’s Apringius and what’s not. I haven’t finished checking some of my earlier posts against Apringius, unfortunately.)

Beatus alternates between quoting a passage (which he calls a “historia”, meaning in this case “account” or even “scene”), and providing the explanation (“explanatio”) for the individual verses. In the Beatus manuscripts, each historia is illustrated. On the historia posts on my blog, I link those Beatus mss illuminations which happen to be online (a pretty good number). So it should be very handy for people who want to consult Beatus for religious purposes or just to study art history.

Oh, and my convention is that Revelation passages are bolded, other Scripture passages are italicized, and every other quote is just in quotes. I should probably have the same words in red that the manuscripts do, because that would be cool, but I don’t want to guess because I haven’t seen any actual facsimiles of whole manuscripts.

So if you want to read some medieval/patristic Bible commentary or look at purty pictures, head on over to St. Beatus of Liebana’s Bloggentary, over at


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Royal Irish Regimental Mascot News

Insert embarrassing noises responding to extreme cuteness here.

Finn comes from Driftcot in Cambridgeshire.

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Spring Anime Guesstimates

The spring anime previews are out, and once again it looks like a mixture of blah, bleh, noheckno, and Cool!

Ao no Exorcist not only looks like an interesting dark fantasy show, but goes for the Catholic card. 15 year old Okamura Rin is always getting into fights, but otherwise lives a pretty normal life in a house for orphaned kids. But then the kids’ legal guardian, Fr. Fujimoto Shirou, is killed while doing an exorcism — shortly after being forced to reveal that Rin is actually a half-human son of Satan. (Cue that old anti-demon Marvel Comic title from the 1970’s — SON OF SATAN!) He takes this as a sort of career counseling, and joins up with a multi-faith group of demon-fighting knights. (Presumably because they don’t have minor seminaries anymore.) It’s apparently one of those shows that switches off between school comedy and drama or horror. I’ll watch at least a few episodes if it comes my way.

Hyouge Mono is apparently a somewhat humorous slice of life story about a historical figure, a samurai interested in the tea ceremony and not so much in normal samurai status games. It’s set in the Warring States period of Japanese history, and features Sen no Rikyuu himself as a mentor.

Sket Dance is a show about, basically, a Japanese school’s non-tech help-desk club. Most Japanese schools apparently have such a “club”, which is supposed to help out on school maintenance and be around for kids to report building structural problems to them; they are pretty much considered unfun and uncool. The Sket Dance manga imagined kids in such a club repurposing themselves to help fellow students with all their problems.

Steins Gate: time-travel show. Tons of paradoxes.

Showa Monogatari: The story of a typical Japanese family in 1964, the year Japan hosted the Olympics. Basically The Wonder Years, except early enough not to include hippies.

Hanasaku Iroha: Another slice of life story, this one about contemporary kids working their first summer jobs at an old-fashioned Japanese inn. (The kind with tatami mats, sliding screens, etc.) I’m a sucker for all this yamato super-Japanese stuff, as long as it doesn’t come with super-subservience and so forth.

Tiger and Bunny: Superheroes with corporate logos, fighting for justice and trying to collect the most good-deed points per year. It’s Sunrise, so it might be good.

Oh, and there’s going to be an educational anime on NHK for business people, all about a high school girl’s baseball team that accidentally gets a Peter Drucker book on management instead of a book on baseball. Team productivity stories ensue. (To teach you all about Drucker’s theories, of course.) Either it will be cute and informative or it will be unintentionally hilarious, so I see no downside here.

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Hope You Had a Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

I took off from work, because the weather was supposed to be good today and because I was feeling fried. Didn’t really get out to hear any music, though. I did take my parents out to lunch; and we ate Irish food and drank Irish beer and talked, which was nice. I also took a nice walk out in the afternoon sun; it got up to something like 65. Very pleasant. Almost hot, with the sun shining!

Unfortunately, I was so tired in the morning that I didn’t get out to Mass (and I missed noon Mass because I was taking out my parents). And then I napped some more in the late afternoon/early evening. I didn’t get any of my projects done, although my body did seem to appreciate the rest. So yeah, this was pretty much a total holiday.

Unfortunately, it turned out after lunch that it had also been a bad news day. My little brother’s rescue horse has been pretty healthy since all the initial health problems caused by neglect were solved. But he’s had a pretty fair number of hoof problems since then, for various reasons, and he was a pretty sick horse for some months this summer/fall. Now things have apparently come to a head; he’s gotten laminitis in one hoof (aka founder), probably thanks to previously undiagnosed Cushing’s disease (which apparently is fairly common in dogs and horses). This isn’t a death sentence, necessarily; horses can be rehabilitated from founder and go on to live healthy lives. But it’s pretty scary, nonetheless, and my little brother is pretty sad about it.

Anyway, if you want to listen to some more Irish music after today, the “Sounds of the Season” cable music channel has a very good mix this year, and will probably keep playing Irish music till the end of this month (if previous years are a guide). You can also listen to it online at

I’m going to bed now.

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Jerry Pournelle Says Don’t Panic.

Jerry Pournelle summary of the Fukushima story, as seen by people who know nukes.

MIT summary of news
, as also seen by people who know nukes.

It seems that a lot of Japanese who bought stuff up in the same way Americans hit stores when snow is coming, are now bringing the extra stuff to donation stations or passing it out among their neighbors.

Japanese disaster planners are feeling a bit embarrassed at the moment, because they had assumed that emergency workers would be able to rustle up food for people by… GRABBING STUFF OUT OF ABANDONED HOUSES’ FREEZERS AND PANTRIES and bringing it back to the shelters! (Welcome to the East, where your stuff is everybody’s stuff under certain conditions!) Anyway, there are obviously no houses, or no houses with undestroyed food in them, in many areas, which is why those millions of company-donated servings of Cup-O-Ramen were suddenly all needed when the government didn’t think they would be. Now distribution is more a problem than donation, because of course plenty of people have jumped in, over there, but the roads and the rivers and seas are not in real good condition at the moment. But I expect that people won’t go hungry, although they may be eating cold ramen in a lot of cases.

Emergency scrounge planning. Seriously, that is hilarious. 🙂

The rolling blackouts are apparently being held off in most of the country by a push for voluntary energy conservation by people lucky enough to have fared okay in the quake and tsunami. TEPCO started it in their area, but then the geeks took over, dubbing it Operation Yashima. So far, so good.

Steven Den Beste found this nice drawing somewhere. It’s dedicated to the current US military assistance to the Japanese Army’s amazing efforts in the tsunami areas.

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Pre-Vatican II People Weren’t Ignorant

Again and again, you used to hear Catholic speakers imply that, before Vatican II, all was darkness and ignorance and lack of schooling, and… oh, no… they expected you to remember things you were taught. Horrors.

I swear to you, there is nothing I’ve ever found out about Bible stuff, in my reading, that I’ve mentioned to my mom, that she didn’t already know from her Catholic schooling. Seriously. You have to get super-abstruse for her to even have to search around in her memory, but even then, one of her nun teachers mentioned it at some point. It is flippin’ scary.

Which is to say that, yes, I’m reading Part 2 of Jesus of Nazareth. Not super-abstruse, but full of insightful points that nobody ever made to me before! I’m stopping to let it percolate.

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Female Baby Name Idea

“Peristera” is NT/Koine Greek for “dove”. (As in “the Holy Spirit descended like a dove”.) It’s even a noun of feminine gender, so you won’t have nitpickers like me making annoying comments.

The only disadvantage is that it also means pigeon (a female pigeon), it being a broad sort of word, and modern Greeks usually do mean pigeon when they use it. But it’s pretty and it’s in the Bible, and there are already Greek women who have that name.

So unless you know a lot of sarcastic Greek people with a vendetta against “flying rats”, I think you’re safe. 🙂

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