Monthly Archives: March 2013

Department of “In Your Face, Pseudo-Malachy”

Nobody else has mentioned this, but what Pope Francis literally said in his intro speech was that the cardinals went “to the end of the world.”

Heh, heh.


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Things about Argentina

1. They’re just about the last Spanish-speaking country to maintain the vos forms of address and grammar. (That’s 2nd person plural pronoun and verb forms,  like Y’all. Ustedes/3rd person plural is the formal 2nd person plural.)

UPDATE: More and better info about Rioplatense Spanish here. It turns out that “yeismo” is part of what was going on in the Spanish dub of Sherlock Holmes in the 22nd Century, because an Argentine accent is regarded (in the Americas) as sounding educated, urbane, and old-fashioned, and thus compared well to an English accent.

2. They’ve got cattle country, in the pampas. Hence gauchos, steak, and lots of yummy beef dishes.

3. Buenos Aires and Rio de Janeiro are allegedly as different as Dallas and Austin. Francis I is from B.A. Wow, total brain-fail. Rio is in Brazil, duh me. I think I was thinking about steak, which by all reports is also cheap and plentiful in Rio. Maybe Lent leads to meat fixation.

4. That whole Falklands thing? Still touchy, still calling them the Malvinas there. They also got raided by the UK by ship a lot back in the 1800’s, and even back to privateers like  Morgan and Drake. So yeah, kinda touchy.

5. Tons of English people, and folks from other European countries, immigrated there when it was a frontier all the way to the 1950’s, and people still immigrate there today. Francis I’s family immigrated there from Italy, back when. In Patagonia, there are whole valleys full of native Welsh speakers who’ve been Argentine for generations.

5. Tango.

6. A history full of nasty governments.

7. Fernet-Branca and Coca-Cola, possibly the national drink.

8. Some pretty decent wines.

9. Yerba mate tea. (Just like folks in Paraguay and Uruguay.)

10. The comic and cartoon Cybersix came from there. (And portrays Buenos Aires without naming it such.)


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The New Pope’s Old Neighbors Remember Him

Among other highlights: When the pope was young, before he went to the seminary, he could dance a mean tango and he cleaned up good.

For those of you who don’t read Spanish, there’s always Google Translate.


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Vivat! Regnat!

Many years to Pope Francis I, and let’s all pray for him!

His name of course means “French”/”Frankish”, “freeman,” or “big honking Frankish axe you throw at people.”

(Ain’t I a stinker?)

Of course we think of St. Francis of Assisi, St. Francis Xavier (one of the founding Jesuits, who was rich, smart, totally annoyed by St. Ignatius Loyola at college, but pestered into joining up with the Company of Jesus, which he came to love), St. Francis de Sales (the great re-evangelist of France and Switzerland), St. Francis of Girolamo (another Jesuit), St. Francis Ferdinand de Capillas (one of the proto-martyrs of China), Bl. Francis Palau y Quer, and many more.

Father Z on his lunchmate, some dude from Argentina.

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Thanks once again for talking over every solemn moment.

While talking about how silence and solemnity are moving and important.

Sigh. I know they have to do some commentary, but sheesh.

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A Korean SF/Mystery Historical Drama.

If you get tired of all this Conclave papabile speculation, you can always watch Joseon X-Files: Special Investigation Record, a Korean drama TV show dramatizing Fortean events recorded in the Joseon period (AD 1609) and making a bunch of Korean police and prosecutors go deal with it. In period dress.

So you’ve got a hotblooded, sharptongued, righteous kid prosecutor as the hero, a bunch of Men in Black (literally), and a beautiful researcher chick for the mysterious love interest (because somebody has to read obscure Chinese texts for the team). Also, there’s a Pipe-Smoking Man.

The only way this could be better is if it were a Roman X-Files team, and the show was written by David Drake.

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Nightmare School

Dear God, please have mercy on students who don’t get homeschooled.

Science Fair is supposed to be about science first, answering questions accurately and fully and making accurate oral reports second, visual aids way down third (although everybody knew that flesh was weak, and judges more so), and having pretty pretty poise way far down the list. Apparently, now nothing matters but the pretty.

Also, everybody is supposed to be bored out of their minds or a gabbler.

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Baucis and Philemon

David Drake translates Ovid’s retelling of this touching Greek myth.

Acts 14:10-12 says that the Greeks started wondering whether Barnabas was Zeus and Paul was Hermes, after they witnessed these apostles doing some miracles. This is the kind of story that the Greeks were thinking about: Zeus and Hermes wandering around in the mortal world to do wonders, and to deal out what both virtuous and evil mortals deserve.

And of course, Paul once wrote a letter to a guy named Philemon….

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Your Mother Has Blackmail Photos of You

Everybody who is distinguished today was a cute little kid yesterday.

And their families have pictures of them.

Via Eve Tushnet, young Auden as a beetle.

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Nuns Compete on Bible Gameshow

When the going gets tough, the tough send Dominicans.

Yup, the Ann Arbor Dominicans are sending in a squad of nuns to play Season 2 of the charity gameshow, The American Bible Challenge. Team Sisters of Mary consists of one professed sister (Sr. Maria Suso) and two novices (Sr. Peter Joseph and Sr. Evangeline). The charity they’re playing for is the support of the older nuns of their order. (And that’s not unusual for this game; several Christian charities and non-profits are represented by members.)

Yes, they are competing in their habits. Ann Arbor Dominicans are old school.

However, they’re not even the only Dominican team competing! Team Detroit Believers is playing for the Dominican Literacy Center in Detroit (which is apparently run by the Adrian Dominicans, although you’d only know that if you know what OP stands for in the staff picture). And they’re not the only Detroiters; Team Men of Motor City is playing for Detroit’s Trinity Deliverance Church. So Michigan may have a real three-way battle going.

Anyway, Season 2 starts on Thursday, March 21, both on the Game Show Network and on the show’s website. The first six episodes will each feature 3 of the 18 teams,  competing against each other for a place in the semifinals and for $20,000 for their charity. I’m not sure how the semifinal round works, but presumably it’s two episodes of three teams competing against each other. Then the final show probably has the semifinal winners compete against each other.

Go for it, God’s Dogs!

UPDATE: Mwahaha! I scooped the Deacon’s Bench by three days!


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Muskrat for Dinner

Michiganders eat muskrat. Sadly, they didn’t take advantage of the Lenten indult.

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