Athanasius was a Bishop, You Know

There's pattern of give and take I've been seeing over and over again in the Catholic blogosphere over the last year. I'm not going to name any names, because it's a general pattern.Blogger A says, effectively, "Francis and the bishops are giving away the store. The Church is going to die. Schism might be necessary to preserve the Faith!"Blogger B responds, "Wait a minute. This is the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church. Jesus promised that the Gates of Hell would not prevail … [Read more...]

Faith and Revelation, Mindmapped


I'm one of the members of my parish's RCIA program, and last week I had to give a presentation and lead the discussion on the topic of "Faith and Revelation". So to prepare I put my notes into the form of a FreePlane mindmap; and when it came time for the session I displayed the mindmap on a screen and opened and closed bits of it as we discussed the material. It all worked quite nicely.So here, for what it's worth, is what I came up with to talk about in regards to a Catholic … [Read more...]

St. Martin de Porres

Yesterday was the feast day of St. Martin de Porres, a Dominican saint from South America and friend of St. Rose of Lima. I'm a little late to the party, clearly (I spent the last few days down with a cold); but fortunately my fellow Patheosi Diana von Glahn was on the case with a truly lovely post about St. Martin and his gentle devotion to those around him. … [Read more...]

CT 16: God Not A Body

These bodies clearly don't move by themselves.

We’re blogging through St. Thomas Aquinas’ Compendium Theologiae, sometimes called his Shorter Summa. Find the previous posts here.A body, in philosophical terms, is a material thing that takes up space.  Stones, trees, dogs, and human beings are all bodies, that being the most general physical genus on the Tree of Porphyry.  God, however, is not this kind of thing.It is evident, further, that God Himself cannot be a body. For in every body some composition is found, since a body has part … [Read more...]

Beautiful Code One Screen at a Time, Part II

Last week I talked about code being beautiful at the level of individual lines of code in small procedures. But what about longer procedures?There are a couple of standard rules of thumb for how what a procedure should do, and how long it should be: it should do just one thing, and it should be no bigger than will fit on the screen at once. And note, these dicta date back to when the typical screen was 80 characters high by 24 characters wide.My own rules are somewhat different. A … [Read more...]

The Monster Mash, Just Because

So Tom McDonald has been regaling us all month with "Dark Country" songs in honor of Halloween. For my response I'm bringing it the fully goofy.Yes, here's a fully computer-animated version of "The Monster Mash". I think think it's a re-recording by the folks who did the animation; it certainly isn't the Bobby "Boris" Pickett recording I usually hear. The animation's a little clunky, but fun nevertheless. … [Read more...]

Stephen Maturin on Losing at Chess

Chess men

Captain Jack Aubrey is on a mission in the Baltic, and accompanying him is a young Swedish officer named Jagiello. One evening after dinner, Stephen Maturin and Jagiello have occasion to play chess.‘What is that noise, like bears on the roof?’ asked Jagiello, breaking off.‘It is the launching of a boat. And from the howling of the mariners I collect that it will be some time before we see our dessert. What say you to a game of chess while we are waiting? It may be no conclusive test … [Read more...]

Notebook V2.2.0 Rises From The Dead

Notebook 2.1 splash

Many years ago (in 2005) I released a piece of software called Notebook v2.1.3. I'd been working on it for four or five years by that time. As to what it did...I assume everyone reading this knows what a Wiki is? Notebook was a kind of personal wiki, for use on your desktop or laptop computer. Or, if this helps, think of it as a precursor to something like EverNote, only without the cloud. We didn't have clouds in those days; we had to make our own rain.I went on to trying something … [Read more...]

CT 15: The Unicity of God

We’re blogging through St. Thomas Aquinas’ Compendium Theologiae, sometimes called his Shorter Summa. Find the previous posts here.Now we begin to see the payoff from the dry metaphysics of the previous three chapters as Thomas proves that there is only one God.The conclusion is evident that there can be but one God. If there were many gods, they would be called by this name either equivocally or univocally.To use a word equivocally is simply to use it with multiple unrelated meanin … [Read more...]