Jack McDevitt: Antiques in Space!!!

A Talent for War

Recently I re-read Jack McDevitt's "Alex Benedict" series, which begins with A Talent For War and continues through four more volumes to Firebird, with Coming Home due this fall.Alex Benedict is an antiques dealer on the planet Rimway about 9,000 years in our future. 9,000 years is a long time, ample opportunity to accrue just oodles of lost civilizations, abandoned space stations, derelict space ships, and similar archaeological treasures, and they are all out there just waiting for an … [Read more...]

Praying for the Islamic State


One of my friends at Patheos, Rebecca Hamilton, recently wrote a post about the monstrous actions of the Islamic State in the Middle East, and noted that she prayed for the conversion of the Muslims.Someone commented on this, to another Patheos blogger,I could barely get past "I prayed for the conversion of the Muslims", a statement as oppressive as anything Isis has done.The comment stuck in my head. I wonder what the commenter thinks "the conversion of the Muslims" entails? … [Read more...]

CT 9: Simplicity of God

salt shaker

We’re blogging through St. Thomas Aquinas’ Compendium Theologiae, sometimes called his Shorter Summa. Find the previous posts here. Now Thomas moves on to one of the fundamental notions of classic theism: the divine simplicity.A similar course of reasoning clearly shows that the first mover must be simple. For any composite being must contain two factors that are related to each other as potency to act. But in the first mover, which is altogether immobile, all combination of potency and a … [Read more...]

What’s a Meme? Let me count the ways….


In last Tuesday's post I referred to an image with superimposed text as a "meme", and one commenter justly took issue with that. He said,Well, as long as we on the subject... :) I object to calling a slogan-based statement combined with a pretty picture a "meme". It may be *intended* to become a "meme", but it ain't yet.So....what is a meme, anyway?I first encountered the term in the pages of Douglas Hofstadter's book Metamagical Themas, a collection of his columns from Scientific … [Read more...]

Adventures in Clojure: The Fact Base


When you're writing a game based around a game world of some kind, be it a text adventure like Zork, an action adventure like The Legend of Zelda, or any number of other games, there's stuff your game needs to remember. A lot of it has to do with the player: where is he, how much health does he have, does he have the Iron Mitts of Cooking that let him invade and conquer the Iron Chef Temple of Cuisine?But on top that, there are a lot of just plain facts to remember. Where has he been? … [Read more...]

St. Dominic

St. Dominic

Pray for us. … [Read more...]

The Aquabats: Magic Chicken and Midget Pirates, with Snakes

The Fury of the Aquabats

Apropos of absolutely nothing, here's a track from one of the stranger albums in my collection: The Fury of the Aquabats, by a mod/ska band with a superhero fascination. Believe it or not, this was my eldest's favorite album when he was little.This particular song is about—wait for it—fast food chicken restaurants. But it's upbeat and happy!And then (why not) here are a couple of more from the same album. First, a horrifying tale of being "Attacked by Snakes":And finally, t … [Read more...]

Dr. Who does the Time Warp

OK, this is simply brilliant...and rather better done than most Youtube videos I've seen. … [Read more...]

The Mystery of Presence


This month's post at CatholicMom.com is about the Fifth Joyful Mystery: the finding of Jesus in the Temple.You know, it's odd. Most of the Joyful Mysteries have short, pithy names: the Annunciation. The Visitation. The Nativity. The Presentation. And then there's "The Finding of Jesus in the Temple".Here's a preview:My reflections on the first four Joyful mysteries have all focussed on receiving Christ, and then carrying Him with us wherever we go. In the Annunciation, we … [Read more...]