Review: Master and Commander, by Patrick O’Brian

MasterAndCommander

J.R.R. Tolkien was the first great literary discovery of my life, and the author of the book that I've returned to more often than any other. I fell in love with his work when I was nine, and have never fallen out of it.Patrick O'Brian is the second great literary discovery of my life; I first made his (literary) acquaintance sometime in the mid-90's, and have loved his work ever since.Some of you are now nodding your heads, some of you are shaking them, and some of you are wondering … [Read more...]

CT 11: Identity of Essence and Existence in God

Do you have any idea how hard it is to find pictures to illustrate metaphysical concepts?

We’re blogging through St. Thomas Aquinas’ Compendium Theologiae, sometimes called his Shorter Summa. Find the previous posts here.Having noted that God is His essence, Thomas continues,God’s essence cannot be other than His existence. In any being whose essence is distinct from its existence, what it is must be distinct from that whereby it is. For in virtue of a thing’s existence we say that it is, and in virtue of its essence we say what it is. This is why a definition that signifies a … [Read more...]

The Glorious Multiplicity of Creation

Bounty

Two weeks ago I looked at paragraphs 48 and 49 of Lumen Fidei, and talked about the Glorious Multiplicity of the Magisterium. The truth of the faith is too large, I said, (using rather more words) for one bishop to encompass it all; thus, we have many, so that nothing may be lost.In that post I was speaking of revelation; but the same thing is true of all of creation. God is vast, unbounded; and everything that was, and is, and will be in all of creation exists to show forth some … [Read more...]

Quill News, 5 Sep 2014

This is not me.

Since last week's release of Quill v0.2.0, I've been working on the documentation; which is more involved than you might think.See, I first encountered HTML probably around September of 1993, which when Mosaic was first released for the Macintosh. I was already an old hand with hypertext; around 1989 or 1989 I wrote a program (in awk for the Unix geeks in my readership) to process documentation for some C libraries I was working on. The program took the documentation, written in a format … [Read more...]

He’s Tasty But A Little Stringy

Who? The Doctor, of course. Here's the Dr. Who theme on cellos, just because. … [Read more...]

The Baptism of the Lord: The Mystery of Submission

baptism of the lord

And here's my latest for CatholicMom.com, on the First Luminous Mystery: The Baptism of the Lord.John recoils, as he would have recoiled if someone had suggested that he profane the Ark of the Covenant or spit on the Torah. He has lived his whole life proclaiming the holiness of the coming Holy One; and now that Holy One says, “Profane me. Lay your hands on me, and baptize me, and declare me unholy.”____ photo credit: Lawrence OP via photopin cc … [Read more...]

Hedy Lamarr is a Beautiful Gal

P-38 Lightning

I panned Jack McDevitt's Ancient Shores a couple of days ago (I won't add injury to insult by linking to my review); but I'm indebted to him for including a bit of World War II-era songwriting on the subject of that epic warplane, the P-38 Lighting. Here's a ditty called "Lightnings in the Sky" (author unknown):Oh, Hedy Lamarr is a beautiful gal,   And Madeleine Carroll is too. But you’ll find, if you query,   A different theory   Amongst any bomber c … [Read more...]

The Ants Go Marching, Dammit!

Monomorium_minimum_casent0173040_profile_1

Of all God's creatures, the ones I find to be the most inconvenient are the common "little black ants", which a website at Texas A&M tells me are almost certainly Monomorium minimum. They are common all over the Los Angeles area, and they are the only kind I've actually seen invade my house. Sometimes they'll come in for food, but more usually they seem to be seeking water.In our previous house, we learned that we needed to disconnect the garden hose from the faucet by the back door when … [Read more...]

Review: Ancient Shores, by Jack McDevitt

JackMcDevitt_AncientShores

Recently I sang the praises of Jack McDevitt's "Alex Benedict" series, and a reader suggested that I try his earlier novel Ancient Shores. And I did; but I didn't like it.I don't usually write negative reviews; if I dislike it I ignore it. In this case I feel I have to, since it came up in the context of a largely positive review of some of McDevitt's other book.Ancient Shores takes place "present day", when a farmer in North Dakota finds a fully rigged, perfectly preserved sailboat … [Read more...]


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