Thursday “Are you smarter than a 9th Grader?” Open Comments

PreConf Puzzle Jan 2013

PreConf Puzzle clues Jan 2013

It’s not the best copy, but here’s what my class had to do last night. Can you complete the puzzle?

Click on the image to enlarge.
HInt: I’m Catholic. I’ll even give you one. I pull a lot of articles from Envoy magazine. You’re on your own with the rest.

UPDATE: We found a typo, dang it. The intersecting square of 2 Down and 8 Across is both E and I. I guess that’s what I get for doing this late at night. Anyway, that’s your second hint.

And I didn’t even include sola fide or sola scriptura….

Place Your Bets Open Comments

With the Big Game rapidly approaching, you have little time to place your bets.

There are the obvious ones: who wins; by how much; how many total points; etc.

Then there are the fun ones:

How many times will the game be referred to as the Harbaugh Bowl or Har Bowl or Super Baugh during the game?

How many times will Harbaugh be said during the game?

What will be the highest tweets per second during the Super Bowl?

What color will the Gatorade (or liquid) be that is dumped on the winning coach?

Tons more at the link, plus you can apply your googling skills for many more beyond those.

Monday Margins Open Comments

I found this interesting article about things found in the margins of books copied tediously by monks. (I can’t think of anything worse than copying a text by hand and then making a mistake on the last line.) I can visualize the brothers, copying text onto papyrus by the sunlight through a window until dusk brings and end to the day’s labors. How painstakingly they must have toiled at their tasks! At least one of them agrees:

Writing is excessive drudgery. It crooks your back, it dims your sight, it twists your stomach.

And this leads to comments like these:

New parchment, bad ink; I say nothing more.

That’s a hard page and weary work to read it.

Let the reader’s voice honor the writer’s pen.

This page has not been written very slowly.

This parchment is hairy.

Thank God it will soon be dark.

Oh my hand.

Now I’ve written the whole thing: for Christ’s sake give me a drink.

As the harbor is welcome to the sailor, so is the last line to the scribe.

Some of the medieval monks were a little more, well, inappropriate with their illustrations. Venture here at your own risk. You have been warned.

Marginalia was practiced by Mark Twain and Nelson Mandela. What will become of marginalia in our high-tech world of bits and bytes and pixels? The pleasure of a well-bound book, with the wonders of the world and the spirit of man, are fast becoming the victims of tablets and “the cloud”. Well-written prose is being replaced by Twitter text and phone text abbreviations. Curling up with a good book is being replaced by lounging with a screen. And marginalia, those traces of thoughts left behind in books as they are pondered, will be harder to save.

I have an aversion for writing in books, but since I use my Bible as manual and don’t intend to get rid of it, I have no problem leaving marginalia in there. In my Bible I’ve made notes to remind myself of things I want to remember for later. What will those scribbled notes mean to my children after I’ve gone on? What will those bits of memory tell my grandchildren about me? Or am I doing a little too much naval gazing here?

And one last parting shot from a monk from many, many years ago:

Now I’ve written the whole thing: for Christ’s sake give me a drink.

Friday Happiness Open Comments

It’s Friday. Time for a light-hearted opening to the day.

First, if you don’t at least smile when you see this, you are heartless and cold. Or blind, maybe you’re blind. And deaf. Blind and deaf.

Here’s another one:

And a compilation of happy moments:

Such unabashed joy makes my soul smile. Yes, it does.

But dogs are not alone in the welcoming home their long-missing owners:

And I know that this video has been out for a while, but since I’m trying to bring smiles on this Friday morning:

Okay, we’ve had our grins. Now, let’s tear into the day’s events and solve the world’s problems.

Wednesday Hump Day Open Comments

I must run to meet an inspector. The door is open, just don’t let in any flies or wasps, okay? I hate those things.

I’ll make tea when I get back, but you are welcome to do it yourself if you’d like. I haven’t checked the Couch for cat barf yet, so be careful where you sit.

No open flame, graffiti, or other vandalism. At least, not ’til I get back. 😀

Anniversary of Evil Open Comments

Cardinal DiNardo asked that the following letter to the faithful be read at all masses this past weekend:

Dear Sisters and Brothers,

This weekend, we remember as a nation Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., a man of non-violence, a minister and preacher of overcoming racism and living in harmony because of the “content of our character.” We pray and work that his dream may be realized.

On Monday, we will inaugurate President Obama for a second term and pray for him and the newly sworn in Congress that he and they will enact laws and carry out policies in our country that enhance the common good and protect the human person, and simultaneously work for a deepening of genuine peace founded on justice in the world at large.

On Tuesday, we will remember the somber 40th anniversary of the Supreme Court decision, Roe vs. Wade, that legalized abortion in our country, a decision that has unleashed the death of over 50 million unborn children, nameless to many but not to the Lord, and caused great brokenness to the mothers and fathers and extended families of those same children. The Gospels are exact in describing Jesus Christ’s work beginning at his Baptism in the Jordan as bringing a new reconciliation that does not “break the bruised reed or extinguish the smoldering wick.” The Catholic Church remembers January 22nd each year as a day of voluntary fast and abstinence; there is a special Mass in the Missal with its proper Scriptural Readings assigned for that day. I ask, most especially this year, that all of our priests, clergy, religious and faithful make a major effort to stop that day, to pray more fervently for a rebirth of a culture of life, to fast and abstain from food as a mark of solidarity for all those affected personally by the scourge of abortion, and to make space and time to participate in prayer at Mass.

May God’s blessings descend mightily on our country that we will be promoters of peace, defenders of life for every person, and dedicated servants to the civil and religious liberty of all our citizens that has marked us as a nation from our beginnings.

May we continue to celebrate this Year of Faith by enhancing our knowledge of Faith and deepening our gaze at the face of Jesus Christ, God’s mercy shown visibly to the world!

Sincerely in Christ,

Daniel Cardinal DiNardo
Archbishop of Galveston-Houston

We should all do as the Cardinal suggests in praying that President Obama and all those in our government act with wisdom in governing our great country in a manner that we all, individually and collectively, achieve our greatest purpose while ensuring that the most innocent and vulnerable among us receive the protections that they deserve.

We must move toward a society that is in line with God’s will, as described by Dr King, where we judge people by their character and not by the color of their skin.

Today marks the 40th anniversary of one of the darkest days in the history of our great Republic, the day the Supreme Court handed down its decision in the Roe v. Wade case. The US Supreme Court took upon itself to strip the innocent unborn of all rights granted to them under not only the US Constitution, but Natural Law as well. That decision represents the single greatest unresolved stain on our Republic.

May God have mercy on our souls.