Monthly Archives: June 2013

Reproduction Medieval Rosaries

Historic Enterprises sells all sorts of medieval clothing, camping accessories, and gewgaws. They also are now selling medieval paternosters and chaplets, styled after medieval examples and (in one case) Bl. Alanus de Rupe’s description of a fitting rosary for a penitent.

This is good stuff! And there’s tons of educational info!

The only disadvantage is that, back in the Middle Ages, they didn’t usually include a crucifix attached to the rosary. (Although painted or carved beads often, often included a crucifix depiction.) But there’s nothing stopping you from adding a crucifix should you want one, or painting one on.

Also, some of the reproductions are closer to the originals than others, in appearance and materials. So look very closely at the pictures of the ones actually on sale to avoid disappointment. These aren’t exact replicas but re-creations of the style.

The Chaplets of the Five Wounds or Passion Rosaries are really very nice, I have to say. I bet they’d also be excellent for the Divine Mercy devotion.


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“The Art of Effortless Singing” by Cecilia Nam

Cecilia Nam is a really great voice teacher and singer. Here’s her speech at the 2013 CMAA Colloquium, which should be helpful to singers in any style.

“The Art of Effortless Singing”

Basically, if you’re singing correctly and if you’ve practiced and learned the music, you shouldn’t have to kill yourself trying to breathe and hit notes and so forth. It should all come along in an “effortless” package. If you’re working too hard to do normal things, you might be doing something unhealthy; or you might not be getting the prior preparation and practice done.

So there’s a lot of talk about how things work, and some great freaky vocal exercises for your entertainment and improvement. There’s also a lot of mythbusting of bad voice advice.

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Megatokyo Webcomic: Kickstarter for Visual Novel

The Kickstarter just started four days ago, and it’s already kicked out pretty much every goal originally set up. $106,000 pledged already, and 26 days left to go.

So yeah, this visual novel adaptation of the Megatokyo webcomic is now going to include at least ten playable characters, including some that have to be unlocked. All sorts of original material, Easter eggs, secret codes, soundtrack, wallpaper… phew!

If you’ve never read Megatokyo, you might want to start.

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Listening to the CMAA Colloquium’s Music

This is your heritage of Catholic church music! Explore it!

You can listen to recorded pieces already performed at this website.

You can also listen live at to the following events from the Colloquium, at the Cathedral of the Madeleine (St. Mary Magdalene) in Salt Lake City:

Friday the 21st, 7:15 PM ET/5:15 MT — Mass for St. Aloysius’ Day.
9:45 PM ET/7:45 MT — Vespers.

Saturday the 22nd, 4:15 PM ET/2:15 MT — Votive Mass of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Sunday the 23rd, 1 PM ET/11 AM MT — Sunday Mass.

The Church Music Association of America is an organization of church musicians and those interested in church music. It is dedicated to serving God (and the Catholic Church) with good church music, teaching chant and polyphony, spreading music played on the organ and other fitting instruments, and encouraging contemporary composers to work inside the Church’s traditions and laws. (Among all sorts of other things.) Their website,, is full of free and public domain resources available to everyone.

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“The Angry Man”

A poem by Phyllis McGinley that I hadn’t seen before. It was copied onto a thread on today.

The Angry Man

The other day I chanced to meet
An angry man upon the street —
A man of wrath, a man of war,
A man who truculently bore
Over his shoulder, like a lance,
A banner labeled “Tolerance.”

And when I asked him why he strode
Thus scowling down the human road,
Scowling, he answered, “I am he
Who champions total liberty —
Intolerance being, ma’am, a state
No tolerant man can tolerate.

“When I meet rogues,” he cried, “who choose
To cherish oppositional views,
Lady, like this, and in this manner,
I lay about me with my banner
Till they cry mercy, ma’am.” His blows
Rained proudly on prospective foes.

Fearful, I turned and left him there
Still muttering, as he thrashed the air,
“Let the Intolerant beware!”

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Thick, Manly Vocal Muscles

It takes long, thick vocal muscles, and thus lots of testosterone, to produce this particular sound.

And it takes a pretty big voice cajon to do some stuff on national television!

Fun stuff here. Watch it all the way to the end.


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Parresia: Holy Freedom of Speech

Reading about the Origen homilies discovered last Holy Thursday, it turned out that Origen talked about “parresia,” which Perrone defined informally as “freedom of speech.” (Remember all those times when you read about various Biblical figures speaking out boldly? That’s “parresia.” It also implies being candid, not holding things back that people need to hear. There’s an alternate spelling, “parrhesia.”)

Anyway, Perrone talked about how Origen talked about how the imperative (command form of a verb) being directed to God in the “Our Father” was a consequence of the freedom of speech (parresia) accorded to the righteous as adopted children of God. Those who obey God are commanded by God to command Him, in a way. (Video of the lecture. Copy of the paper.)

Pope Francis mentioned parresia back on St. George’s Day.

It would seem that a lot of Christians do speak in a reserved or frightened or politically correct way, instead of using parresia.


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Corpus Christ Procession with Ghillie Suits

The Moss Men of Bejar.

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Strange Paladin

A new Japanese RPG (New Etrian Odyssey: Millenium Maiden) will feature a paladin named Racoona Sheldon, a reference to one of the late Alice Sheldon’s pen names. (Her more famous pen name was James Tiptree, Jr.)

Sheldon is best known as a late blooming sf writer whose stories were hailed for their understanding of women because she submitted them under the male Tiptree pen name, thus causing embarrassment when she decloaked. Unfortunately, Sheldon is also known for murdering her husband and killing herself, apparently due to mutual frustration with the husband having Alzheimers. Both the Sheldons had served in the OSS during WWII and the CIA afterward.


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Don’t Try Being the Pythia at Home, Kids

Geology and toxicology combine for a new explanation of the Oracle at Delphi.

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Silverlock is 99 cents today on the Kindle

If you’ve read it, you know this is what you want to buy.

If you’ve never read it, go buy it now for 99 cents, and thank me later.

John Myers Myers was an amazing and fun writer, and it’s a shame he didn’t write a thousand zillion books. But he did write this one, so get it.

That is all.

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Stupidest Thing I’ve Read Today

A guy who thought Shakers banned dancing.

Dude. Shakers did prayer-dancing as an integral part of their sect. Before that, they just shook around and whirled a lot. Anyway, inspired prayerful/ecstatic movement was their thing.

So yeah, if there were a Shaker version of Footloose, it would be about some crazy rebellious kid who wanted to be a 19th century couch potato. (And who also snuck off to kiss girls, probably.)

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Hokkaido-Style Venison

Some people get to eat venison more often than I do, so this may be useful to them….

Silver Spoon issue 14 recommends that, if you run over a deer with your pickup, you should stick the meat in the fridge for a few days, then cut it up and put it in a pot with lots of sake, ginger, and soy sauce to simmer for a whole day. Serve on piping hot rice.

Of course, Japanese deer are a lot smaller than American deer, and the flavor probably differs somewhat.

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Silver Spoon – ag school anime

Moyashimon was all about the microbiology behind agriculture. The Japanese government apparently encourages this sort of “educational” manga and anime about fields that aren’t getting enough majors. With the graying of rural Japan, and Japan’s perpetual need to exploit what farmland they have to avoid importing all their food, it’s no wonder that the Japanese government goes to these lengths.

Silver Spoon is all about vocational high schools where you actually farm. The anime’ll be coming out later this year, but the manga has already been out for a while in Japan. (I don’t think it’s been licensed over here. So here’s a link to the scanlation.) The comic is by the same lady who did Full Metal Alchemist, and an alternate version of Major Armstrong appears near the end of the first issue. 🙂

Our protagonist is so desperate to get away from his family in Sapporo (Japan’s fourth largest city, up in Hokkaido) that he applies to the farthest school he can find: a dairy farming high school that’s as rural as it gets on Hokkaido (ie, pretty darned rural), where the students board in dorms. He’s confident in his ability to get A’s on any kind of academics, but is dismayed to find out just how much hands-on work there’s going to be. But while some of his classmates aren’t good with academics, the ones there for the genetics program are able to blow him away — and somehow, even the kids who can’t do math can discuss cow cloning!

Even worse, his classmates all seem to have clear dreams and goals for their future and an adult attitude, whereas he doesn’t have any idea what he wants from life, much less as a job.

It’s going to be a hard transition….

Issue 2 grapples with “where eggs come from.” Also, the amazing egg-cooking abilities of a bowl of really hot rice.

I think Foxfier will be particularly amused by the Holstein Club in Issue 3….

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