Showing posts from July, 2012

Switzerland at the Olympics

Olympic Debut: 1896

Athletes Competing: 115

Medals Pre-London: Gold - 45; Silver - 70; Bronze - 65

Make that 114 Swiss athletes...

Well, I've been following up on the Swiss team but it's not good soccer player got kicked off the team because of a racist tweet.  As poorly as that term is used in the U.S., it would seem that it was accurately used in this case.  Disappointing article here.

Starting a Writer Collection

Rejoice with me!  I have just found a jewel of a modern writer to add to my collection.  Now, to be honest I did not officially have one until today, but I think it's a good idea.  I am beginning a list of writers who write intelligent, useful essays on topics that I enjoy.  Of course, these are authors who basically say what I think but say it much better than I ever could. 

For instance, via a long train of Internet exploration, I discovered a couple of articles by one Roger Kimball.  What absolutely won me over to add him to the collection was this article, "The Great American Novel: will there ever be another?"  It's an absolutely wonderful essay, discussing the "changes in our culture [that] have precipitated changes in the novel or, more to the point, changes in the reception and spiritual significance of the novel."  Here are a few quotes from the essay.

But there was a moment, an extended moment that lasted many decades, in which some fiction consciou…


I'm a bit of an Olympic addict.  Every two years, I spend two weeks glued to the television watching whatever sports happen to be on, whatever countries are playing.  Back when my sisters and I were still in school, we had a few traditions around the Olympics.

Each member of the family would pick a country to root for, and then research that country.  We would read up on their facts, make a copy of their flag, and record all the medals that they got.  While we were watching the opening ceremonies, Mommy would bring out the World Almanac and we'd read facts about all the little countries that no-one knew about.  We had a whale of a time watching the opening and closing ceremonies, and catching all sorts of random sports on the tv!

So I decided to do a little of what we used to - pick a country, find their flag, and keep track of them through the Olympic games.  This year, I've chosen Switzerland, since I have ancestors from there.  We'll begin with their flag and some vit…

Snail Mail: or, the Power of the Pen

Since I don't have Facebook (more on that will be coming soon), I'm out of the cyber-loop with most of my friends.  Luckily, there are still phone calls; but even better, I have a significant number of friends and relations who enjoy writing and receiving letters.  Yes, letters - you know, the kind where you pick a pretty piece of paper and use that archaic mechanism known as a pen, for the purpose of communicating one's thoughts and feelings to a friend?

Quaint, isn't it?

You know, letters are what the post office originated for, and what the Pony Express riders risked life and limb for; what men and women would pay their small savings to send; what Roman emperors built roads across the whole of Europe for; and what your grandparents wrote when they were courting.

We seem to have lost all that.  Sure, more and quicker forms of communication have popped up (just remember, that's what the ancients thought when someone decided on papyrus and ink instead of carved stone …

Addiction Problems!

I'm slowly but surely becoming a news junkie!  Fox News and IndyStar are bookmarked under my favorite websites; I check the news first thing in the morning and several times a day; and I find myself glued to breaking news stories.  What I can't figure out is whether this is a problem or not!

The slow descent into the depths of news addiction started early in the year.  Although I've always liked reading the front page of the paper after my parents did, I spent a semester at school disconnected from the outside world.  After attending an editors' conference in Orlando as a representative of my school newspaper, I started reading more news stories as an attempt to explore journalists' writing styles and the way in which people read and respond to news.  My budding interest was fueled when I realized that I had become completely sucked into the "Christendom Bubble" and had no sense of the bigger picture, but was only concerned with the little social issues of…

please Please PLEASE!!!

I sincerely hope this measure gets passed!

From Fox News -

"Pull up or pay up: North Carolina Mayor pushes for fine, ban on sagging pants"
 A North Carolina mayor has issued an ultimatum to town residents: pull up your sagging pants or pay a fine.

Pro Tem Carnell Robinson, the mayor of Dunn, N.C., claims the saggy pants look among many young men is bringing down the city's image and wants to enact an ordinance prohibiting the fashion statement, WRAL-TV reported.

Under Robinson's proposal, the first two violations would result in a warning, according to the station. Third-time violators could face a fine of up to $200.

"I believe this form of dress is totally disrespectful," Robinson told the station. "(This is) just a simple matter of the community re-establishing some standards."

Robinson also said the ordinance, if enacted, would help bring down the city's crime rate.

Saggy pants "is part of a culture that breeds drug sales, drug addictions, cr…

10 Commandments for Mobile Manners

Found this article on Fox News - thought that it would be a good thing to share.  Here are the 10 Commandments they propose.  The rest of the article is a good read, too.

I especially support Commandments 1, 2, 4 and 6!!!

1) You shall give top priority to those who are with you.
Listen intently when you are with friends, family members and coworkers. When you constantly check messages, you send the message that other people and things are more important to you.

2) Thou shalt not be distracted.
For safety's sake, don't text or engage in voice calls while driving. For the same reason, don’t let texting or voice calls distract you while walking in busy public spaces. Texting-while-walking mishaps have become such a serious problem that cities are starting to issue tickets.

3) Do not shout on the sidewalk.
It's OK to take a call when you're on the street. But try to keep your voice down. If you have to shout to be heard above the background noise, you should call back later.

4) Th…

Poem of the Month: July

Anthony Esolen, a well-respected Catholic literature professor and translator (Dante's Divine Comedy being among his works) wrote an article analyzing Wordsworth's poem "Old Cumberland Beggar" in light of what it has to say on the dignity of a human life.  The culture of life is so threatened now that infancy and old age have no meaning - there was little way Wordsworth could have foreseen the widespread use of abortion and euthanasia, yes his poem applies well to the current age.

Read Esolen's article here after reading the poem below.  It's quite a profound reflection and a good read.  Thanks to Fr. Z for drawing my attention to it - Esolen spoke at Christendom last year and we used his translation of Dante last semester in literature class.

Old Cumberland Begger

    William Wordsworth

I SAW an aged Beggar in my walk;

And he was seated, by the highway side,

On a low structure of rude masonry

Built at the foot of a huge hill, that they

Who lead their horses down the…