I hope everyone's cool with -- or at least getting
cool with, accustomed to -- the new forum software. I'm very
averse to change, myself, so if you're like me, you're likely feeling that things are a little awry or "just not the same," but that's how we trads are built, I think LOL Hang in there! And please be patient as the bugs get worked out and I figure out what "mods" are "keepers" and which need to get gone. See the "Welcome to FishEaters 2.0" sub-forum for any gripes, requests, and kudos to DivineSilence who's done all the hard
work of making this upgrade happen, etc. DivineSilence has spent a lot
of time working on all of this, and for no
compensation. He's been doing this for the love of Christ and Tradition
, because he likes ole "FE," and to help me, a woman who's pretty helpless when it comes to all this here teknollogy stuff
Vox being asked to confront technology
(Dramatic recreation. All characters appearing in this work are fictitious.
Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.)
At the least
, a virtual pat on the back is owed to him, if you ask me!
In other news, in case you missed it, Iona-Scribe had her baby, a healthy little boy named Andrew! So please, if you would, say a prayer of gratitude to God, and a prayer asking Him for the (future) virtue, health, and happiness of her new wee one, and for Iona's recovery from labor -- a very appropriately named phenomenon!
OK, on to the "bloggy" stuff...
A strange and chilling mystery I'd not heard of before, about "The Children Who Went Up in Smoke
" in Fayetteville, West Virginia. The set-up: "On the night before Christmas 1945, George and Jennie Sodder and nine of their 10 children went to sleep (one son was away in the Army). Around 1 a.m., a fire broke out. George and Jennie and four of their children escaped, but the other five were never seen again."
The family was Italian ("Sodder" was an Americanization of "Soddu") and, so, undoubtedly Catholic, which makes it all feel more personal to me. Reading what those poor parents went through makes for a heartbreaking experience. And the mystery of it all remains. What happened that night? Where, if anywhere, did the children go? And what's the answer to the question, "Why did this happen?"
There are some people who go through life spreading sunshine, and the English train dispatcher described in this article from the UK's Telegraph
is one of them. Now, imagine if this man were Catholic -- and when interviewed, he casually mentioned that, and how that may have affected many lives or, at least, get people to thinking, "Hmm, Catholics can be kewl!" As it is, he's without religion, and, alas, even approvingly cites this bit from the Hitchikers Guide to the Galaxy: “There is an interesting line in the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, which I am great fan of. It correctly points out that the very last thing that human beings need is a genuine sense of perspective because we will see how minuscule we all are.”Sigh. And may this sweet man convert!
Anyway, my point in posting this article is this: for you sanguine, extroverted types out there, this man's approach to daily life's interactions with others could do a lot to save souls. Truly. People will want to know what your secret is! As St. Francis said, "Spread the Gospel; use words when necessary."
Ever hear that story that the natives couldn't see Columbus's ships because they'd never encountered such a thing -- that there they were, ships on the horizon, sails billowing in the wind, but the natives simply did not perceive them at all because they couldn't mentally process them, had no word for "ship" (nevermind the fact that they knew all about canoes). That's always struck me as bogus, as does the story of some Amazonian tribe whose "world" was bordered by a certain river. When a missionary came to them, and then left by crossing that river, they could no longer see him because "over there, across the river" just "didn't exist." I call BS on that. Makes no sense.
This sort of theory -- the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis -- is taken on by John McWhorter in a new book. Read about it here
I am fascinated by the forensic art of reconstructing faces from skulls. Here's a video that walks you through the process:
And here's a reconstruction of the much-maligned King Richard III
, who turns out to have been "a bonny lad":
(His being "a bonny lad" is something to which I have to say "why, of course" because Richard III and I have a common maternal ancestor, with our both belonging to Haplogroup J. Woo! My claim to fame LOL)
The story of how his remains were found is a very interesting one. You can read about it here
. Richard seems to have been a big-time victim of Tudor propaganda, put out after the "War of the Roses" which the House of York lost (the war was named after the Yorks' and Tudors' symbols of the white rose and red rose, respectively -- which you can remember by associating the Rrrrr sound in "Tudor" with the R in "red"). If you want to read a bit about the Tudors from a Catholic point of view, check out Culture Wars's review of the book
"The Tudors: The Complete Story of England’s Most Notorious Dynasty." For a book about the utter devastation the Tudors brought to the Church in England, see also Eamon Duffy's book, "The Stripping of the Altars: Traditional Religion in England, 1400-1580
Anyway, it's upsetting that his remains will be re-interred at an Anglican site when Richard was, of course, Catholic. Sigh. But speaking of Catholic, this page shows a few Historical facial reconstructions
, and among them is St. Nicholas. The last bit on Nefertiti is very interesting, too: I think that Queen's mummy -- um, her body, not her Mamma
-- may well have been found -- and what a true
beauty she was!
I have to post this video about Columbine because it's so extremely well done, and so hauntingly sad and tragic. I'm putting out a major TRIGGER WARNING
for folks who are sensitive to violence. This video can be really hard to watch. I'm not
exaggerating that! It's heartbreaking and relatively graphic. But it's so powerful and done in such a masterly way, that in spite of some serious qualms I have with the text of the narration, I can't resist posting it.
Ricochet In Reverse
The scientific way of cutting a round cake -- so you're not stuck with dried out edges. It was invented by Francis Galton, an English Victorian scientist who also came up with weather maps, the system of fingerprint filing adopted by Scotland Yard and still used today, psychometrics, and the dog whistle. Clever boy! Sadly, he was also a pioneer eugenecist. Alas. Still his cake-cutting ways make sense:
Here's his paper on this topic
How's about a few medieval riddles? These come from a website called "Book of Days," which introduces the topic with this:
Many copies of what we would now term riddle-books, are found in both the French and English collections of old manuscripts, and some were printed at an early period. One of these, entitled Demands Joyous, which may be rendered Amusing Questions, was printed in English by Wynkyn de Worde, in 1511. From this work, of which one copy only is said to be extant, we cull a few 'demands,' with their responses, for the amusement of the reader: the greater part of them being too strongly impregnated with indecency and profanity to be presentable here...
Now for some riddles! I've selected only those that deal with Churchy matters:
Dem: What bare the best burden that ever was borne?
Res: The ass that carried our Lady, when she fled with our Lord into Egypt.
Dem: What became of that ass?
Res: Adam's mother ate her.
Dem. Who was Adam's mother?
Res: The earth.
Dem: When Antichrist appears in the world, what will be the hardest thing for him to understand?
Res: A hand-barrow, for of that he shall not know which end ought to go foremost.
Dem: Which was first, the hen or the egg?
Res: The hen, at the creation.
Dem: Who killed the fourth part of all the people in the world?
Res: Cain when he killed Abel.
Dem: What is it that is a builder, and yet not a man, doeth what no man can do, and yet serveth both God and man?
Res: A bee.
Dem. How would you say two paternosters, when you know God made but one paternoster?
Res: Say one twice over.
Dem: Which are the most profitable saints of the church?
Res: Those painted on the glass windows, for they keep the wind from wasting the candles.
Eh. The best two, IMO, aren't "Churchy." They are:
Dem: Why do men make an oven in a town?
Res: Because they cannot make a town in an oven.
Dem: How many calves' tails would it take to reach from the earth to the sky?
Res: No more than one, if it be long enough.
What's more interesting than the riddles themselves, at least in my opinion, is what this article (PDF file) teaches about "The Role of Riddles in Medieval Education
." The essay talks about how solving some medieval riddles depends, in part, on understanding the concept of animals as signs, and then knowing about animals. That topic is one that fascinates me (see the "Catholics and the Animal World
" page in the "Being Catholic
" section of the FishEaters website). The writer says,
Being created by God’s Logos , every creature brings in itself a code message and the believer is expected to decipher: studying animals for example - the dove, the serpent or the ox - is a way to understand the saying of Jesus: “Be shrewd as serpents and innocent as doves” (Mt 10, 16). And St. Paul explaining the law given by God: “You shall not muzzle the ox while he is threshing” (Dt 25, 4), says ironically: “God is not concerned about oxen, is He? Or is He speaking altogether for our sake? Yes, for our sake it was written” (I Cor. 9, 9-10).
Another take-away, for me anyway, is this:
The apostle St. Paul compares the truths about God to riddles: now, we see them in a confusing way, like in a riddle; but there will be a day in which we’ll see them clearly, like when a riddle is solved (I Cor: 13,12). This way, riddles become a kind of model that simulates the misteries of God. In effect, when a riddle is proposed you feel anxious because the solution does not come immediately, and you wonder if there is any solution at all, but when
eventually you solve it everything looks so simple and obvious and you wonder how could ot have been such a difficult problem. “The same goes for the teachings of God - preaches hes the priest - they may seem hard to us, but when we are determined to obey Our Lord... etc. etc.
Anyone who knows me knows that I'm a huge
fan of Old Time Radio ("OTR" to aficianados). I'm a "friend of the creaking door," oh yes! I even love the commercials, wherein "Joe Friday" sells Fatima or Chesterfield cigarettes (did you know that "it's wise
to smoke Fatimas"? LOL Yes, that is actually a line right out of some of those old radio ads for Fatima cigarettes!) and every
female actor in Hollywood keeps her complexion clear and beautiful by using Lux Toilet Soap -- and washes her "stockings" and "undies" in Lux flakes! The Molle shaving cream jingle
is one of my favorite songs (it's smooth... so smooth! It's slick! So slick! It's the smooth, smooth, slick, slick shave you get with M-O-L-L-E! Molle!)
Anyway! once in a while I come across a show that is so ridiculously and (this is the key!) inadvertently funny, and WEIRD, that I make note of it and put it in my "favorites folder" on my hard drive. This show is one of those. It's from the show "Quiet, Please" and is called "The Thing on the Fourble Board." Enjoy! And prepare to end up asking yourself, "What the HECK
did I just listen to!?" (the funny thing about this show is that it starts off so well, genuinely c-r-e-e-p-y -- but then devolves into almost surreal strangness. It's genius!):
Eye candy that could make for a good desktop wallpaper: the Jesus statue in Brazil, before a Full Moon. Click to enlarge: