Unnatural Death, by Dorothy Sayers

Mystery novels thrive on novelty, on how to murder the victim and hide the perpetrator in new and previously unused ways, and this was especially true in the Golden Age of the whodunnit. Peter Wimsey's career began whimsically enough in Whose Body? with a mysterious body in a bathtub. He investigates a country house mystery that perhaps isn't really a country house mystery in Clouds of Witness. But Lord Peter has to truly extend himself in his third outing, Unnatural Death, because it's not … [Read more...]

Friendship Evangelism

Recently I ran across this entry at a site called "wikiHow": fifteen steps to Persuade a Christian to Become Atheist. It explains how to befriend somehow with the express purpose of destroying their faith in God. Really, it's kind of creepy: to befriend someone, and to try to become their close friend, not because of shared interests or mutual liking, but with the intention of changing them.Naturally I think that the destruction of a Christian's faith in God is an objectively evil goal, just … [Read more...]

Bootstrapping the Interior Life: Divine Office, Part II

Last week, I began talking about the Divine Office as a daily devotion. Today I want to go into some specifics.Each day, the Divine Office consists of a number of distinct sets of prayers, the Hours. I usually pray three of them. I begin my day with Morning Prayer, also known as Lauds. After work, or sometimes after the kids go to bed, I will pray Evening Prayer, also known as Vespers. And just before going to bed, I will pray Night Prayer, also known as Compline.The intriguing … [Read more...]

The Dread House of Lego

This was first posted in December of 2003.Whilst out and about with my two boys this evening (fetching home a copy of Panther for my PowerBook, as it happens), we discovered that there's now a Lego Store at the Glendale Galleria.Not only is there now a Lego Store at the Glendale Galleria, it's directly next to the Apple Store where I went to get my copy of Panther. With two small boys in train, I had about as much chance of avoiding the Lego Store as—I can't think of a comparison t … [Read more...]

Woof Guide to Popular Music: Sisters, Andrews, Boswell, and Puppini

Here's a little something upbeat for New Year's: the Andrews Sisters with "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy". But I was interested to discover (via the magic of Pandora) that the Andrews Sisters' recipe of upbeat rhythms and close-harmony was anticipated by the Boswell Sisters, a rather jazzier trio that performed with the likes of Jimmy Dorsey, Bunny Berrigan, and Benny Goodman in the first half of the 1930's. Interesting stuff that you won't be able to sing in the shower, because you, you ain't them. … [Read more...]

S’Mary’s World: Calendar

Calendar/Sun Dial

The calendar for S'Mary's World was established by the Articles of Colonization, as was usual in the early colonial era.  Every earth-like planet has slightly different periods of rotation and revolution, and practicality dictates that local matters are scheduled according to local time. Maintaining a proper chronology is essential to colonial success, and so practicality also dictates that the calendar be established and well understood prior to landing.  In that era, prior to the discovery of w … [Read more...]

Words I Wish I’d Written: Provision for Discourse

On every formal visit a child ought to be of the party, by way of provision for discourse.— Jane Austen, Sense and Sensibility … [Read more...]

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas to all of my readers! May the memory of Christ's birth, the Incarnation of Almighty God as one of us, stay with you and fill you with joy for the whole of the year.I intend to keep blogging through the Christmas season…but, really, you can catch up when your extended family has gone home. … [Read more...]

Clouds of Witness, by Dorothy Sayers

In Whose Body?, Lord Peter Wimsey's brother the Duke of Denver wishes that Lord Peter would give over his hobby of sleuthing; and Lord Peter promises him that he might have cause to be grateful for it. This promise pays off immediately in Lord Peter's second outing, Clouds of Witness. Lord Peter returns from an extended vacation in Corsica to discover that his brother the Duke is on trial for the murder of the fiancé of his and Lord Peter's sister Lady Mary. The Duke's family and friends were … [Read more...]