Daily Archives: March 8, 2012

Steven Tockar (Voice Actor) Interview

Everfree Radio is an MLP podcast. The first half hour or so is a review of the most recent episode, but pretty much everything after that is a wide-ranging interview with a prolific Canadian voice actor, Steven Tockar. He’s only played some small parts on MLP, but he’s been on pretty much every cartoon you can think of. (Which is why I was interested.)

Basically, he’s one of those really funny guys who loves to talk and do voices, and the fan interviewer pretty much encourages him to talk as much as he wants.

Everfree Radio episode 14, via Derpy Hooves News.

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Two Tornadoes Survived, Two Legs Lost, Two Kids Kept Safe

Stephanie Decker, survivor mom. A lot of parents would rather lose limbs than their kids, but you can’t usually see it in action.

There’s an address to donate to the family for her medical bills. They’ve got really good prosthetics these days, so I hope she gets some.

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Netanyahu Sends Obama Hint-iday Greetings

Just in time for Purim last night, the President was presented with a copy of the Book of Esther (aka “the whole megillah”).

As we know, the Book of Esther tells the story of an evil Persian leader who wants to wipe out the Jewish people, but who instead gets hoist by his own petard.

The Jawa Report points out that this is just a tad of a hint.

Mordecai besought the Lord… “O Lord, O King, O God of Abraham, have mercy on thy people, because our enemies resolve to destroy us, and extinguish thy inheritance.” … And all Israel with like mind and supplication cried to the Lord, because they saw certain death hanging over their heads.

And further on:

“But this edict, which we now send, shall be published in all cities, that the Jews may freely follow their own laws. And you shall aid them that they may kill those who had prepared themselves to kill them….”

Oh, there are a ton of messages in there. Read for yourselves, folks.

Purim food gift baskets, which seem to influence and be influenced by Easter baskets.

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St. Brigid’s Birthplace Shrine, Faughart, Dundalk, County Louth, Ireland

Here’s a video of St. Brigid’s birthplace shrine, in Faughart, (Fochard Muirthemne, which became Fochard Bride) up pretty far north but still in Ireland. And here’s a school’s page from Faughart, explaining what you see. Another page with more pictures, including a picture of the grave of Edward Bruce (Robert the Bruce’s brother), and the remains of an old monastery/convent on the site.

Here’s a Radio Telefis Eireann (RTE) documentary on Faughart. They show the very medieval Irish custom of doing “circuits” of pilgrim “stations” (places for prayer halts, like holy rocks, wells, processional paths, etc.), which has been adjusted for modern tastes by putting them somewhat in terms of Stations of the Cross. There’s also a very good look at one of the regional styles of making a St. Bridget’s Cross (this one out of green rushes, with typical Irish number fun). After that, there’s some annoying and nonsensical “it’s all pagan” blah-blah and then it’s over, so you might as well stop with the Cross.

Of course, the Irish used to have a lot more relics and historical Christian stuff for most of their many saints, than just holy wells and rocks and leaving ribbons as votary offerings, and such. It’s just that a lot of that kinda got destroyed by the Norse and the English and the feuding and such, whereas destroying relics that are also landscape features takes some doing, and destroying ribbons that are votaries doesn’t stop everybody from finding more ribbons. People think this stuff is superstitious now, because they’re not dirt poor and desperate for religious freedom, like people back in the day; or even just reasonably poor and finding ways to praise God anyway, like most European Catholics who lived out in any rural area.

So it’s not that Irish Catholics are so nature-oriented, as that the nature-oriented side had more ways to survive. (And as it was, a lot of holy, saint-associated natural features did get destroyed by the English during the Penal period, so it’s really not a joke.)

You know, I think Chaucer was right about pilgrimages. It’s Lent, it’s Spring, I kinda wanna go do one. Although Ireland’s a bit inaccessible to me at present, so I’ll have to try something closer. :)

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Holy Savior Cathedral, Bruges, Belgium – Home of St. Brigid’s Mantle

St. Sauveur (Holy Savior) Cathedral in Bruges (aka Sint-Salvator Cathedral in Brugge, depending on which Belgian language you’re using: Flemish or Walloon) is best known to clothing history fans as the home of St. Brigid’s Mantle, a small piece of an Irish wool cloak, designed and treated to be shaggy on one side to hold off the weather. There’s a lot of dispute about how old the fabric is, how old the fabric reliquary encasing it is, when it was passed to the cathedral from its old home at St. Donaas, and so on.

But it’s a gorgeous cathedral. Nothing like being in the medieval wool trade for building nice churches.

Anyway, the point of them having a St. Brigid relic was that, among other things, she was good with sheep and a patron saint of all facets of the wool trade. So your Flemish wool traders and weavers were bound to be devoted to her, along withe every other shepherd and shepherdess and weaver and sheep-healing saint that they could find.

Sint-Salvator’s website. Extremely lacking in info, other than giving you the Mass times, etc.

Marc Carlson’s clothing history take. There’s more about the cloak in the standard medieval Irish clothing study, the name of which I can’t remember just now.

Article on St. Brigid’s mantle from a Celtic stuff class project there.

I’m really surprised that there’s still no online pictures of the Mantle, as this is a really primo relic to have.

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“Old Man Henderson”: An Epic Story of Crazy Gaming Brilliance

This one’s pretty funny. I haven’t been posting much funny stuff this week, so here you go.

(I don’t know who the gamers involved were, but the game was Call of Cthulhu, a tabletop RPG in which the players role-play unlucky characters doomed to face H.P. Lovecraft’s most rugous and unspeakable horrors, losing ever more sanity as they find out about Things Man Was Not Meant to Know. Usually everybody’s characters die or go drooling insane in the first few sessions. It’s a very grim game, which makes this story even funnier by contrast.)

Via all the gaming stories in the comment box at Friendship Is Dragons.

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Lemons and Salt and the Empty Chair

Years ago, when my little brother went to an Air National Guard training school, my family and I went to his graduation. The ceremony included a small “empty chair” ceremony to remember the military’s POWs, MIAs, and the dead, explaining the symbolism of how the table with the empty chair was set.

Neptunus Lex, whom we remember this week (see post below) had a post about Navy ships which follow this tradition at all times. The symbolism explained there is pretty much the same that I heard at my brother’s school graduation, except that they also included a candle.

But probably one reason for the lemons, I just realized, is that the “empty chair” table incorporates things used for giving Catholics (and related faiths) the full Last Rites (Anointing of the Sick, aka Extreme Unction). There’s supposed to be two blessed candles lit on the table next to the bed, if possible. After a priest anoints the dying person with oil of the sick, a bowl of lemon slices and/or a dish of salt are used to cut the oil on the priest’s hands (with either regular bread or linen used to “dry” them and blot the oil from the anointed person). Regular soap is now often used, even in church; but the lemon thing is still valid.

If there’s time, a well-prepared Catholic household is supposed to have such things ready for the priest’s visit. Logically, a well-prepared military unit or warship with a Catholic chaplain (or chaplains with related liturgical practices) would tend to keep such things ready also, if the logistics were reasonable. (Candles being something of a fire hazard on a ship, that would probably not be something you’d leave out as a reminder, whereas lemons and salt aren’t going to hurt anything.)

One of those things they don’t teach Catholics about, these days, but Fr. Z talked about it on his blog. Couldn’t figure out why it had sounded so familiar, until I was directed to the old Neptunus Lex post today.

This Fr. Z post on a how-to video for ceremonies shows how the lemon and bread thing can be done at church, at Baptisms and Confirmations and ordinations and other such oil-related occasions.

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