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...]

Today’s Aquinas: Creation Reflects God’s Perfection

"So, you're telling me that I exemplify a perfection found in God?"

We’re blogging through St. Thomas Aquinas’ Compendium Theologiae, sometimes called his Shorter Summa. Find the previous posts here.Not only is there no imperfection in God's infinity, says Thomas in Chapter 21 of the Compendium Theologiae, but He is necessarily more perfect than anything finite.  And this has an obvious consequence:The further inference clearly follows that all perfections found in anything at all must originally and superabundantly be present in God. Whatever moves somet … [Read more...]

Eagle Project: Operation Gratitude (UPDATED)


Goal: 1000 letters.  Final Total: 845.  Publicity Ended: January 31, 2015. Project Ended: February 9, 2015.When we started we were hoping for a minimum of 250 letters; 1000 was a goal we hardly hoped to approach. By the end of Saturday, January 31st we'd had a groundswell all the way to 595! We expected to get a few stragglers coming in, and end with a total just over 600. Instead the letters kept coming in, and we ended at 845! This is a massive success.Of those, about 100 came … [Read more...]

O Christmas Cow!

Santa Cow

Jane and I have been arguing where we first heard this bit of Christmas goofiness. I seem to recall running into it on Usenet; she seems to recall having heard it from a fellow she worked for for a while who was a big-wig in the dairy industry. Either way (or possibly both), it's sung to the tune of "O Christmas Tree", and it goes like this:O Christmas Cow, O Christmas Cow,     You bring us lovely cheeses. O Christmas Cow, O Christmas … [Read more...]