Saturday, October 27, 2007

Otis Tails a Video

OK, OK. I know! I've been remiss in posting. And I missed Friday Pet Blogging last week. So, I am going one better and posting a Friday Pet Video! Otis has taken to chasing his tail. In this video, he's not exactly chasing his tail, but he does try to catch it.

And one by one, the pet blogging posts steal my sanity ...

More Pet Blogging
  1. See the Friday Ark, featuring a compilation of today's pet blogging posts, over at The Modulator.
  2. Check the M&O Archives for some previous Milo & Otis appearances.
  3. Carnival of the Cats, coming at you every Sunday.
  4. And one of the funniest/cutest/obsessivest (OK, I know that's not a word!) sites for cat photos, StuffOnMyCat.com is a must see. Take it from them: Stuff + Cats = Awesome!
  5. And for a funny and saccharin sweet photo collection of cat, kitty, and other critters that have been tagged with LOL, go see I Can Has a Cheezeburger? Really, these are good.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Funny 'Cause It's True?

Today's Non Sequitur comic is funny because it's true ... but only for a moment. After that pause, it's just frustrating. Too many people play this game on a daily basis. And the media doesn't help matters at all. Go Comics only keeps the comic available for a week or so. But I've archived it for your viewing pleasure.
Click for full Non Sequitur comic

Monday, October 15, 2007

Latin isn't dead, it just smells funny

"Latin isn't dead, it just smells funny." So says Josh Rocchio, a graduate student and an editor of Vicipaedia Latina, the Latin version of Wikipedia. Josh and his colleagues have a simple yet staggering goal: "Make a Latin reference work that is hip and alive" through the power of Wiki. And they are writing in honest-to-goodness, authentic, classical Latin. According to the article by Lee Gomes,

Vicipaedia has 15,000 articles. Catullus, Horace and the Roman Senate all are there; so are musica rockica, Georgius Bush and cadavera animata, a k a zombies. You can read in Latin about hangman (homo suspensus), paper airplanes (aeroplanum chartaceum) and magic 8-balls (pila magica 8), as well as about famous Italians like Leonardo da Vinci and the Super Mario brothers.

Sure, I'd like to make a joke about it being "all Greek" to me. But that isn't accurate, or even funny. So I will simply direct you to Lee's article on WSJ.com.

Veni, Vidi, Wiki: Latin Isn't Dead On 'Vicipaedia' By LEE GOMES September 29, 2007; Page A1 Online Reference Features Britannia Spears, Disneyi; Disputing Computatrum

It's not that ancient Romans didn't know a thing or two about wild sex. They had their Bacchanalia, after all. But lacking video technology, they had no expression for "sex tape." And that is why writing about Paris Hilton in Latin can sometimes be so difficillimum.

The editors of Vicipaedia Latina, the Latin version of the popular Wikipedia Internet reference site, were thus forced to wing it. In their article about the hotel heiress, they described Ms. Hilton's famous X-rated Web video as pellicula in interrete vulgate de coitu Paridis.

[ Full Story ]

Friday, October 12, 2007

Not Missing Saigon

I went to the Media Theatre (in Media, PA, of course) last night to catch Jessica Edwards in "Miss Saigon." I met Jessica last year when she performed in the Montgomery Theater's production of "The Last 5 Years". It was a great show, and I'll be posting a review over at my theater blog later this weekend.

Friday Pet Blogging | Of Mice and Milo (and Otis!)

The Boyz are back!! After our most recent break from Pet Blogging, we are back on top of things. First off, Mrs. Brainwise noticed that Milo seemed quite content -- perhaps smugly so -- to just recline with a pink mouse wedged up close to his torso:

Otis, however, knows the purpose of a toy mouse, and he did his best to honor the mouse's true nature:

Mouseover?
To atone for the lack of Milo and Otis on these pages, I am posting two bonus pics from the recent series (looks like Otis wasn't all that happy after catching the darn thing, was he? Oh well, Milo's smug mug makes up for it.):
Ptuui! Milo's Smug Mug

And one by one, the pet blogging posts steal my sanity ...

More Pet Blogging
  1. See the Friday Ark, featuring a compilation of today's pet blogging posts, over at The Modulator.
  2. Check the M&O Archives for some previous Milo & Otis appearances.
  3. Carnival of the Cats, coming at you every Sunday.
  4. And one of the funniest/cutest/obsessivest (OK, I know that's not a word!) sites for cat photos, StuffOnMyCat.com is a must see. Take it from them: Stuff + Cats = Awesome!
  5. And for a funny and saccharin sweet photo collection of cat, kitty, and other critters that have been tagged with LOL, go see I Can Has a Cheezeburger? Really, these are good.

Knights Templar Finally Get Thumbs Up from the Home Office

OK, so the medieval Christian order known as the Templars is not actually getting a thumbs up from the Vatican. News that the Knight's will be "partly rehabilitated" is, however, about as close as a bunch of ages-dead "heretics" can get to a hearty slap on the back. Never mind that it's about 700 years late. The real story is that the Knights Templar have won a heresy reprieve, and the minutes of the trials against the Templars (Processus Contra Templarios -- Papal Inquiry into the Trial of the Templars') is the subject of an epic republication -- and I do mean epic in both scope and price. Pope B XVI is getting the first of 799 copies of this massive volume, which has a price tag slightly north of $8000.00. At the very least, this is great news for historic researchers of every stripe. Scholars will have access to the original documents from the trials -- no one outside of the Vatican has seen these papers since the 14th century! Any time the Vatican Secret Archives serves up from their special stash, I count it as a victory for general world knowledge. Of course, it may damn the Vatican's forebears or at least further taint the Church's middle ages reputation. But, hey, it's all in the name of historical accuracy, right?

Knights Templar Win Heresy Reprieve after 700 Years Fri Oct 12, 2007 4:10am EDT By Philip Pullella

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - The Knights Templar, the medieval Christian military order accused of heresy and sexual misconduct, will soon be partly rehabilitated when the Vatican publishes trial documents it had closely guarded for 700 years. A reproduction of the minutes of trials against the Templars, "'Processus Contra Templarios -- Papal Inquiry into the Trial of the Templars'" is a massive work and much more than a book -- with a 5,900 euros ($8,333) price tag. "This is a milestone because it is the first time that these documents are being released by the Vatican, which gives a stamp of authority to the entire project," said Professor Barbara Frale, a medievalist at the Vatican's Secret Archives. "Nothing before this offered scholars original documents of the trials of the Templars," she told Reuters in a telephone interview ahead of the official presentation of the work on October 25...

[ Full Story ]

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Quotable | Decent

Every decent man is ashamed of the government he lives under. -- H.L. Mencken, writer, editor, and critic (1880-1956) Today's quotable was lifted from the current post at A.Word.A.Day. Subscribe for free and have a new word delivered to your own inbox every weekday!

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Researching the Mystic

Scientists have long felt that religious feelings occur somewhere in the brain. Some have even speculated that these feelings can be traced to a specific place in the gray matter between our ears, but there has been little agreement on where exactly this place might be. Scientific American magazine reports this month on the latest attempts to map the neurological landscape of religious experience. Through the use of MRIs and brain scans, researchers are "attempting to pin down what happens in the brain when people experience mystical awakenings during prayer and meditation or during spontaneous utterances inspired by religious fervor." As an individual who performs a technical job, I can understand the desire to find the "God(s) spot" in the human brain. And as an exercise in better understanding human behavior and development, I can support such research. But I also walk the narrow line between the empirical and the ineffable. I firmly believe there is a spiritual dimension to human life. Andean mystics, for example, believe that all humans have a metaphysical body in addition to the physical. The metaphysical body mimics the physical, yet this "other" body is tied to energy in the way that the physical body is tied to food items. The spiritual stomach eats and processes forms of energy, instead of physical food, breaking it down for other spiritual entities to devour in a way that echoes our physical digestive system. So is there truly this direct a correlation between the spiritual realm and our physical anatomy? I don't know. But while I am interested in research that measures brain waves and records bio-electrical impulses during meditation, I do have my concerns. I am concerned that the actual intent that drives such research is a desire to prove that religious experience is no more real than a chemically fueled hallucination. If that is the case here, then there are no winners.

SEARCHING FOR GOD IN THE BRAIN by David Biello Researchers are unearthing the roots of religious feeling in the neural commotion that accompanies the spiritual epiphanies of nuns, Buddhists and other people of faith

The doughnut-shaped machine swallows the nun, who is outfitted in a plain T-shirt and loose hospital pants rather than her usual brown habit and long veil. She wears earplugs and rests her head on foam cushions to dampen the device’s roar, as loud as a jet engine. Supercooled giant magnets generate intense fields around the nun’s head in a high-tech attempt to read her mind as she communes with her deity. The Carmelite nun and 14 of her Catholic sisters have left their cloistered lives temporarily for this claustrophobic blue tube that bears little resemblance to the wooden prayer stall or sparse room where such mystical experiences usually occur. Each of these nuns answered a call for volunteers “who have had an experience of intense union with God” and agreed to participate in an experiment devised by neuroscientist Mario Beauregard of the University of Montreal. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), Beauregard seeks to pinpoint the brain areas that are active while the nuns recall the most powerful religious epiphany of their lives, a time they experienced a profound connection with the divine. The question: Is there a God spot in the brain? ...

[ Full Story ]

Thursday, October 04, 2007

The Devil ... Did It?

I've been away for a while, and I apologize for that. I want to break my blogging silence now with a tale of tragedy, triumph, and redemption. Instead, I have this strange tidbit to share. According to ClickOnDetroit.com, which I found by way of the Latest News links on CNN.com, a woman claims she was sexually assaulted ... by the Devil ... who had been living in her attic. And the Michigan Supreme Court is reviewing the case. Go check out the full story for yourself: Woman Claims She Was Sexually Assaulted by the Devil (there's even video of the court proceedings!).