Review: Outwitting History


The delightful Outwitting History is the story of Aaron Lansky's seemingly quixotic but ultimately successful attempt to rescue an entire body of literature: the vast body of works written in Yiddish that were in danger of being simply thrown away in last part of the 20th century.The Jews have always been people of the Book, have always been literate; and starting in the mid-19th century the language in which European Jews wrote books (and especially secular books) was Yiddish. This … [Read more...]

CT 14: God Not A Species Predicated Of Individuals

Individuals of which a species is predicated.  Or, perhaps, two species.

We’re blogging through St. Thomas Aquinas’ Compendium Theologiae, sometimes called his Shorter Summa. Find the previous posts here.It's been a month since the last entry in the series, so it's time to recap. Thomas began by showing that there is a first, ultimate cause of all caused things; he calls this ultimate cause "God" for convenience, though he's still in the process of showing why it's reasonable to equate this first cause with the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. He's determined a … [Read more...]

Review: The Lion’s Gate, by Steven Pressfield


Steven Pressfield's latest, The Lion's Gate, is something of a departure from his previous books. Of the three I'd read previously, Gates of Fire and The Virtues of War take place in the ancient world, and Killing Rommel takes place in North Africa during World War II. (Good grief! I've just discovered I've not reviewed that one! I'll have to fix that.) And The Lion's Gate isn't even a novel. But like the previous three, it is carefully researched and a delight (at least for this history … [Read more...]

How I Write

So I was wondering what to say about writing today, beyond that it was a busy weekend and Watchman for Daybreak is only 1,000 words longer, when I saw Elizabeth Duffy's post this morning and said, "A writing meme! I can do that!"So, four questions:What are you working on? What makes your work different from others’ work in the same genre? Why do you write what you do? How does your writing process work?1. What are you working on?At the moment, mostly Watchman for D … [Read more...]

Lumen Fidei: God is Here, Now


In paragraphs 15, 16, and 17 of Lumen Fidei, Pope Francis explains how faith is not merely assent to a set of beliefs, but trust in a person; and specifically in the person of Jesus Christ; and specifically in the love of Christ and his Father for us; and specifically because the Father shows his love for us by raising Jesus from the dead and promising to do the same for us. Jesus not only tells us that he loves us, but he is willing to die for us; and his Father in Heaven raises him. He loves … [Read more...]

Smiling Rhinoceros

Apropos of nothing, here's a picture of a rhinoceros I found while looking for something else.____ photo credit: Thomas Hawk via photopin cc … [Read more...]

Pi Day? Big Deal!

Yeah, I was a math major, I suppose I should get excited by Pi Day.It's just that I'd be much more impressed if today was March 14, 1592. … [Read more...]

On Wuthering Heights

Over the years I’ve had friends who believed in the healing power of crystals, a friend who thought she was an incarnated alien, friends who believe aliens live among us, and at least one friend who thought that Wuthering Heights is great literature and not, self-evidently, a humorous book.Sarah Hoyt, talking about something else entirely. … [Read more...]

Sea Chanties

So yesterday I posted Ewan MacColl singing about Nancy Whiskey; which led a Facebook friend to start singing it; which led her son, to point out that the video game Assassin's Creed 4 has almost an hour of sea chanties that get played in the background whilst you are sailing about. The whole thing is on Youtube:It's quite a good selection of songs, many I've heard and many that I've not; and there are some (like "Spanish Ladies") where I know the words from Patrick O'Brian's … [Read more...]