Just So Stories

Elephant's Trunk

This was first posted in April of 2005. And it's all true.I've reviewed Kipling's Just So Stories before, back in 2001 when I was reading them to David. After that they got put on the shelf, not to be taken down again until we were reading Prince Caspian. There were several evenings when David wasn't available at story-time, and on those evenings I needed something different. I scanned the shelves, and Aha! This book fell right into my hand.There are many stories I remember my … [Read more...]

Angel Summoner and the BMX Bandit

Fridays are usually for music; but my nephew showed me this delightful bit of British nonsense the other day, and it's too good to keep to myself. Meet the crime fighting duo of the Angel Summoner and the BMX Bandit! … [Read more...]

Words I Wish I’d Written: Beware of Little Old Ladies!

Monkey Typing

A little old woman came hobbling along, her crooked cane feeling for the cracks between the slick cobblestones. Because she had a black cloak huddled around her and a black cowl over her head— and so seemed a part of the dark fog— one of the merchants almost collided with her in the shadows. He helped her around a slimy puddle and grinned commiseratingly when she complained in a quavering voice about the condition of the street and the manifold dangers to which an old woman was exposed. She went … [Read more...]

I’d Fall On My Face and Worship

Contemplating the Blessed Sacrament

The other day I saw a blog post (I don't remember where) in which a Muslim friend accompanied the blogger to mass, and said, "If I really thought God was in that gold box, I'd fall on my face in worship. I'd be afraid to stand up." I've seen similar sentiments ascribed to Gandhi, and the challenge is clear: if we Catholics truly believe that the bread and wine truly become the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ, why don't we act like it? Why don't we fall down on our faces and worship?The … [Read more...]

Review: Soulless, by Gail Carriger


Soulless, by Gail Carriger, is an exceedingly silly novel of a sort I don't usually read.  I can best describe it as a steam-punk (i.e., Victorian plus weird technology) paranormal (i.e., vampires and werewolves) bodice-ripper (lots of...well).  I picked it up because I'd been seeing it on the shelves for some years (it was first published in 2009), it's part of a complete series, and the bodice-ripper aspect wasn't apparent in the segments I sampled at the bookstore.The conceit is that G … [Read more...]

CT 6: Necessity of God’s Existence

We’re blogging through St. Thomas Aquinas’ Compendium Theologiae, sometimes called his Shorter Summa. Find the previous posts here.So far Thomas has shown that there is a First Mover, that this First Mover is an Unmoved Mover, utterly unchanging, and that this First Mover is eternal, outside time.  Thomas continues,The same line of reasoning clearly shows that God necessarily exists.Necessary and contingent are philosophical terms of art.  An existent being is necessary if it must e … [Read more...]

Lumen Fidei: The Light That Spreads and Blazes


Chapter 3 of Lumen Fidei (yes, we've finally made it to Chapter 3!) is about the spread of the faith, which goes from person to person as light reflects from one surface to another.  Pope Francis describes it thus:It is a light reflected from one face to another, even as Moses himself bore a reflection of God’s glory after having spoken with him: "God… has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ" (2 Cor 4:6). The light of Christ shines … [Read more...]

Tools for Learning Clojure, Part V: A Game!


Previous Parts: I, II, III, IV.I've always maintained that the only way to really learn a programming language is to code up some kind of project using it: not something out of a book, but something of my own, something that's fun. For many years, my project of choice was the old fashioned text adventure. I got started with computers in the mid-1970's, when we all we had were dumb-terminals and today's beautifully 3-D rendered games were not even a dream. Text was king; and text adventure … [Read more...]

Mago de Oz: La Leyenda de la Llorona

Here's another song that comes across my Pandora regularly, by a Spanish heavy metal band called Mägo de Oz. I know almost nothing about the group, and I haven't heard anything of theirs except this one piece, "La Leyenda de la Llorona", a delightfully energetic flute, violin, and guitar piece that reminds me of Jethro Tull in their heyday. The title refers to a legend of a woman who is doomed to wander the earth forever, weeping for her children, drowned by her hand, which is rather a downer, … [Read more...]