Monthly Archives: April 2013

The Smartest Guy in the Room

Fighter pilots tend to be pretty brainy (though they only seem to get good grades consistently when it’s a competition or whenever forced to), and the elder President Bush and Mrs. Bush both always struck me as smart, so this doesn’t surprise me.

The bit where he predicted each person’s argument is hilarious, although of course a lot of people probably want to do that during long boring meetings that rehash old hash!

Still, it would seem that life does imitate West Wing occasionally. Just not in a Democratic White House. Heh.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Biology Is Wealth

Someone we know MAY ALREADY HAVE WON a brand new bouncing baby boy!

Congratulations to Foxfier and her awesome husband, for another addition to your happy fannish family!

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Hurtado’s Law of Intrigue

From the comment box on this post:

“….”intriguing” doesn’t necessarily mean valid or persuasive. We need evidence to make a suggestion persuasive….”

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Now There’s a Source of Cultural Misunderstanding.

In Latin, it turns out that “amens” means a person without reason or mind, someone who does things for no reason, or an idiot in the classical sense. We still have a related word, “dementia,” which is the condition of a “demens,” a person who acts against reason and the mind while sure that he is still acting reasonably, much like an insane person. (Although “insanus” is yet another concept.)

This may be why so many authors in the Roman Empire who wrote against Christians would emphasize how they were not acting reasonably — purposeful punning on important concepts.

Anyway, there are lots of interesting things in The Handbook of Latin Synonymes by Doederlein, translated by H.H. Arnold. And yes, he did spell it “synonymes.”

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

The Uncanny Valley of Food

Seaweed slaw, made with curly Korean seaweed, cole slaw dressing and little carrot wedges.

It just wasn’t right. Tasted okay, looked okay, went down okay. But somehow, the whole thing together was just not right. And I’m pretty open to new foods, but that one just disgusted me. It must be the uncanny valley effect, because otherwise there was absolutely nothing wrong with it.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

The Venerable Bede on Spiritual Depression

On Proverbs 31:6-7

“Give strong drink to those who are sad,” etc. “Let them drink and forget their want, and remember their sorrow no more.” He calls the consolation of supernal divine wisdom “strong drink” and “wine” in this place. For it is exhibited in their hearts that they flee to the lowest things to be consoled; and whatever occurs in the present, they bear alone, “bitter in mind,” for they do not yet see the celestial joys by sticking to them with their whole mind. They are together with him who said, “My soul refused [negavit] to be comforted; I remembered God, and was delighted….” (Ps. 76:3-4/Ps. 77:2-3, Vetera Latina)

Likewise, “Give strong drink to those who are sad, and wine to those who are bitter in mind,” etc. For those who are depressed by sadness and grief for an abundance of old deeds, pour out copiously the cheerfulness [jocunditatem] of spiritual knowledge, just like the wine which “cheers the human heart.” (Ps. 103:15/Ps. 104:15; cf. Sir. 40:20) And with the words of salvation, warm back to life from their hangover [crapula] those like this, lest they should be swallowed up by a more abundant sorrow, overwhelmed by the continualness of their grief or by lethal desperation.


Filed under Uncategorized

Singing It in the Right Key

Yes, Americans can sing along with “The Star-Spangled Banner.” If you pitch it in the right key.

Boston sings loudly and proudly at a hockey game.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Bought a Rice Cooker

It was on clearance at Walmart for a little less than $12.00. So my love of automatic gadgets which appear in anime overcame my extreme cheapness. The good bit about a rice cooker is that it makes proper Japanese rice without having to stand over the stove, stops cooking it exactly when it’s done, and holds it warm until you’re ready to eat it. (Thus saving Japanese culture.) You can also cook “hot springs eggs” and other treats in the rice cooker, if you know the right settings.

There’s also a vegetable steamer that comes with, and a rice paddle for getting the rice out, and a measuring cup, and a removable pot for the rice with the water measurements right on the side.

Made jasmine rice to go with my Indian food tonight. Very good. (Although really, I need to get short-grained Japanese rice, like Calrose, to get the full value.) The steaming done by the rice cooker definitely sucks out a lot of water from your rice. Some of the jasmine rice actually ended up almost crispy. Apparently you’re supposed to use more water for a long-grained rice like jasmine rice, or for a thick rice like brown rice or wild rice.


Filed under Uncategorized

The Boston Marathon Murders

How dare they.

I am so angry right now, and ever since I heard.

The terrorists were so low to do this — to ordinary people from around the world — to people who just want to train hard and run hard, without any reward!

To do this — in the cradle of freedom!

But then again, they were such fools to do this — in the middle of a city of hospitals, a brisk walk away from where the finest trauma teams in the world are open for business, where so many people they wanted dead will be gloriously snatched away from death.

Boston is in many ways a sleeping giant. It is full of people who would be very bad enemies, if they had a reason to fight. I’ll be interested to see what happens.


Filed under Uncategorized

Repo Man Director to Make Harry Harrison Movie Adaptation

The director of Repo Man is going to adapt Harry Harrison’s novel Bill the Galactic Hero (an sf parody novel about which I don’t recall much) into a movie.

Harrison previously had his dystopian sf novel Make Room, Make Room adapted into the 1973 movie Soylent Green.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

After Pulling Out My Hair….

It turns out that Sigil has tons of the features I needed to use, ages ago, including a word-count feature. They just don’t put them in the program anywhere that you’d know where to find them or what they do.

Argh argh argh.

Anyway, it would seem that Part 1 was 108,000+ words, including indexes and forematter. So that makes me feel a bit better about how long it took.

The next step is to get Part 2 out, which shouldn’t take as long because it’s practically ready. I also need to get back on the translation truck, though, because it’s been practically a year.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

“Turkeys on the Sunlounger” Visits Ohio

I’ve never run across the Turkeys on the Sunlounger blog before. (It’s by Alenka Lawrence, a journalist from the UK now dwelling in the US.)

But after perusing her reminiscence about interviewing Baroness Thatcher, I started reading back through the blog and saw some familiar cows!

There’s also a visit to Easton Mall in Columbus. And a look at Good Friday and Easter in Columbus. And this one, in which we learn that Ohioans drive funny.

Heh, heh. I don’t know why I love reading how funny this normal stuff looks to her, just like I don’t know why people in the US have always loved asking new Americans and non-Americans what they think about us. But it’s all fun as long as nobody loses an eye.


Filed under Uncategorized

My Book Is Live.

Commentary on the Apocalypse: Part 1 – From Christ with Love, by St. Beatus of Liebana. Translated by M.S. O’Brien.

MOB-CotA-750x1125I hope folks like the cover.

Yup, this is the prologues, and the brief summary of Revelation, and the first 2 “Books” of the Commentary, which give in-depth coverage of Chapters 1-3 of Revelation. There’s about 250 Kindle pages, plus the backmatter with the indexes and such.

But wait, there’s more! The seven churches as seven kinds of Christian! The Church as Noah’s Ark! Lazy bishops! The world’s weirdest scriptural titles for the Bride of Christ! Firestarting in medieval Spanish snowstorms! And some notes on the coat colors of horses and dragons!

So get out there and buy today!

Alas, there are no Mozarabic pictures in my edition. (Which is sad, because that art gets better the more you see of it. Also, Revelation is enough to make you wish you could draw.)

However, you can check out the Silos Apocalypse at the British Library, or the Facundus/Ferdinand and Dona Sancha Codex at the Biblioteca Nacional de Espana (click on “Ver obra completa”), and get all the digitized illuminations and text that you could desire.

(Yes, I made a James Bond joke there. Considering that there will be multiple parts, I have to do something to help folks remember….)


Filed under Uncategorized

Ikaria, Island of Coffee-Youth

I know somebody who loves both the Ikaros legend and coffee.

Obviously he must have some Ikarian ancestors somewhere in his family tree….


Filed under Uncategorized