The Blasters: I’m Shakin!

I first became acquainted with The Blasters when I was in college; they travelled in Los Angeles punk circles, so it seemed to me at the time, but what they played was straight roots rock with panache and flair. I've got the greatest hits album, and every once in a while I'll pull it out and give it a listen. Here are a couple of tracks.First, a live performance of "I'm Shakin'", recorded in 1981, the same year they released their first album:And second, another favorite of mine, … [Read more...]

Fr. Ronald Knox on Sheepdogs and the Clergy

A sheep dog enjoying his job.

The shepherd doesn’t run after the sheep when they get straying; he shouts to his dog, and the dog runs after them, barking at them in a very rude way. When you see a sheep dog doing that, it ought to remind you of my sermons; you should think of the clergy yapping at you and saying, “You ought to do this,” and “You mustn’t do that”; they do it because they are acting under the Shepherd’s orders. I don’t say the clergy don’t sometimes enjoy it; but then, I dare say the sheep dog enjoys it.— F … [Read more...]

Duquette’s Law of Theology and Quantum Mechanics

Mr. Aristotle, he knows.

Occasionally I'll hear a speaker discussing the religious or philosophical implications of quantum mechanics. There'll be some quantum randomness, and a stray cat or two, and perhaps more worlds than the canonical Best of All Possible, and then they'll draw some conclusion from all that to support their views on the nature and possibility of free will or on the existence of God.Contrariwise, Duquette's Second Law, aka Duquette's Law of Theology and Quantum Mechanics, states that Every … [Read more...]

Review: J.R.R. Tolkien, A Life Inspired


Having been a Tolkien fan since I was nine years old, I naturally nabbed Wyatt North's biography J.R.R. Tolkien: A Life Inspired a week or so ago when a FaceBook contact noted that it was available for free on Amazon Kindle (it's usually $2.99 for Kindle). I'd never heard of the book before, but the price was right. I started reading it on Christmas day, and was surprised at how quickly we got through Tolkien's childhood. His youth passed almost as quickly. And so did everything else: in … [Read more...]

Today’s Aquinas: God is One, though He Creates Multitudes


We’re blogging through St. Thomas Aquinas’ Compendium Theologiae, sometimes called his Shorter Summa. Find the previous posts here.In chapter 21, Thomas showed that all perfections—good qualities—in created things reflect some perfection in God.  But the perfections in created things are many; how can one metaphysically simple God contain multitudes? Thomas addresses this in Chapter 22.God is one, simple, having no parts (Thomas hasn’t forgotten the Trinity, here; but it will be some cha … [Read more...]

April Smith: Movie Loves a Screen

Here's another bit of Pandora flotsam: April Smith and the Great Picture Show with "Movie Loves a Screen", a happy, upbeat little song of (apparently) unrequited love. Wikipedia says of them,In a style that has been described as "spaghetti burlesque"[2] and "melodramatic pop", April Smith and her band combine indie pop, folk rock and swing, citing a wide range of influences, from The Beatles, The Doors and Queen to Edgar Allan Poe and Wes Anderson.Give 'em a listen, you might like it. … [Read more...]

Harry Dresden on Elevators

My office is in a building in midtown Chicago. It’s an older building, and not in the best of shape, especially since there was that problem with the elevator last year. I don’t care what anyone says, that wasn’t my fault. When a giant scorpion the size of an Irish wolfhound is tearing its way through the roof of your elevator car, you get real willing to take desperate measures.— Jim Butcher, Grave Peril … [Read more...]

You Must Be Full of Demons

There are many things I might be full of, but this isn't one of them.

“You must be full of demons!"It was something like that, anyway. “I’m not going to listen to you. You must be full of demons. I’m going to listen to Jesus Christ. I’m not going to listen to you."Jane and I spent a couple of days in Las Vegas this past weekend; and on Friday evening after the show (Le Rêve, an excellent show I’d recommend to anyone) we were coming down an escalator from one of the pedestrian skyways that dot the Strip, and at the bottom was an evangelism squad. Th … [Read more...]

Review: Weber’s Star Kingdom Series


As readers of David Weber’s Honor Harrington series know, Honor Harrington is accompanied everywhere she goes by a telepathic treecat named Nimitz. Nimitz has six legs (two of which end in hands), a long tail, and a vaguely feline appearance, including retractable claws to die from, and usually rides on Honor's shoulder. Treecats are native to Honor Harrington’s home planet of Sphinx, and individual treecats have been bonding with humans since about 50 years after Sphinx was colonized.At on … [Read more...]