Being a not entirely serious reflection on the bizarre news of the day and how it deeply impacts our lives.

When it must get there overnight...

Submitted by frlarry on Fri, 12/22/2017 - 10:26

A long time ago, in a land far, far away, Santa Claus was just starting his Christmas ministry. He was looking for animals that could fly, and pull his sleigh. Such animals are rare, indeed, because they have magical powers. Some animals, like birds, of course, fly under natural power, but unless you go back to primordial times, you won't find birds big enough to pull a sleigh loaded with toys.

The Papal honeymoon is definitely over.

Submitted by frlarry on Wed, 07/02/2014 - 17:12

It's understandable that the world's elite news media failed to capture the essence of who Pope Francis is, given their dogged determination to always be ahead of the narrative. One can find a representative sample of the approach taken in the New York Times piece by Rachel Donadio from July of last year, "On Gay Priests, Pope Francis Asks, ‘Who Am I to Judge?’" Who can blame them for failing to understand a personality such as his — compassionate, humble, and yet with firm convictions regarding the difference between truth and falsehood, good and evil, beauty and ugliness, wisdom and folly, material and spiritual, timeless and ephemeral. One must travel far and wide to find such a combination in a world leader these days. Even Catholic journalists found him confusing, although one can come across the occasionally balanced perspective, such as that of Colleen Carroll Campbell in her piece "God and Mammon". And as the English poet, Alexander Pope, noted, "Hope springs eternal in the human breast." It matters not the provenance of that hope.

Timing Mother Goose

Submitted by frlarry on Wed, 01/29/2014 - 14:39

One version of the Mother Goose rhyme...

Thirty days have September,
April, June, and November;
February has 28 alone,
All the rest have 31;
Except leap year, that's the time,
When February's days are 29.

You can also remember which months have 31 by counting on and between your knuckles. Beginning with January, you run out of knuckles on one hand (at July) and start over (with August). December and January are also two months in a row requiring 31 days.

Reflections on our consumer culture

Submitted by frlarry on Tue, 05/28/2013 - 23:02
The experts keep telling us that, because of our consumer culture, the country's going to hell in a hand basket. It seems to me the least these experts could do is tell us if the seats are comfortable, and whether it's possible to get matching luggage. Come to think of it, my cat tells me it doesn't much matter where you're going, the mere thought of going their in a hand basket is pretty scary.

Fellow unravellers

Submitted by frlarry on Tue, 04/23/2013 - 10:59
(Please. I beg you. If you don't like puns, for God's sake and for yours, skip this post! Worse, if you love puns but your knowledge of arcane expressions does not extend backwards more than a few decades you will no doubt damage your scalp from head scratching. Don't say I didn't warn you.) Like many well established think tanks and advocacy organizations, the Environmental Defence (for some reason my browser's speller prefers "defence" to "defense") Fund sponsors fellowships and internships.

Zombie Apocalypse?

Submitted by frlarry on Fri, 09/21/2012 - 22:46

The increasing cultural references to the phrase "zombie apocalypse" have finally caught my attention. As I understand it, the phrase is apparently the independent invention of bloggers, one in the entertainment industry, the other in the video game industry. The zombie character is tailor made for video games, but is related to such movie horrors as vampires (because they're described as "undead"), killers that can't be killed (like Jason), pod people and triffids (because they spread their own kind -- come to think of it, vampires are included here, too). According to David Hambling ("How to Survive a Zombie Apocalypse," the zombie idea originated in Voodoo, but the notion of a zombie-like creature can be traced to earlier European literature. See Homunculus, and note that Hollywood's concept of Frankenstein's monster is decidedly more zombie-like than Mary Shelley's original conception!)