“The flat, brute, highly sexualized thing we call our culture”

A solid, sobering read by Peggy Noonan this Friday — and one that should make a lot of people sit and look around and worry: People in politics talk about the right track/wrong track numbers as an indicator of public mood. This week Gallup had a poll showing only 24% of Americans feel we’re on the [Read More…]

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Does he ever have a two-for-one sale on couplets?

Here’s a great slice of American ingenuity for you, the one-man Poem Store: Zach Houston runs his Poem Store (on any given sidewalk) with these items: a manual typewriter, a wooden folding chair, scraps of paper, and a white poster board that reads: “POEMS — Your Topic, Your Price.” Houston usually gets from $2 to [Read More…]

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What we have come to: brides choose radical ways to lose weight for The Dress

This is eye-opening, and disturbing, from the Wedding/ Celebrations pages of the New York Times: Jennifer Derrick’s weight had crept to 159 pounds from 125, and she knew she would not fit into her grandmother’s wedding dress. “Women were smaller back then, and there was nothing to let out,” said Ms. Derrick, of Rockford, Ill. [Read More…]

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A million expected to see the “Holy Robe” of Jesus in Germany

It’s just gone on display, for the first time in decades: Over the next four weeks, around a million German Christians will be travelling to Trier to admire the “Heiliger Rock”, or the Holy Robe: one of the most important relics in German Christendom, that Jesus supposedly wore before being crucified. Stephan Ackermann, the Bishop [Read More…]

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The downside of cohabitation before marriage

A clinical psychologist writes in the New York Times: At 32, one of my clients (I’ll call her Jennifer) had a lavish wine-country wedding. By then, Jennifer and her boyfriend had lived together for more than four years. The event was attended by the couple’s friends, families and two dogs. When Jennifer started therapy with [Read More…]

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Artist modifies clothing iron to show Our Lady of Guadalupe

Well this is…different.  From artist Robert Weschler: The steam holes of a working iron were re machined to mirror the iconic aura of the Virgin of Guadalupe. When cloth is scorched by the iron an image of the Virgin appears in the burn. The text on the T-shirts (everything is coming up roses) accompanies the [Read More…]

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Anti-Catholicism and the Titanic

An interesting observation on the centennial of the great ship’s sinking, from a paper in Ireland: Divine intervention has long been a blamed by some for playing a role in the sinking of the Titanic during its maiden voyage in 1912. Harland and Wolff, the East Belfast shipyard  where the ship was manufactured, was notorious [Read More…]

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“Hate speech”: controversy over play about Pius XII and the Holocaust

The play in question is often blamed for popularizing the notion that Pius XII was sympathetic to the Nazis.   Now it’s receiving a rare staging at a college in Minnesota: A controversial play scheduled at UMD next week critical of Pope Pius XII for not doing enough to stop the Holocaust has raised the [Read More…]

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Everybody needs a hobby: check out the world’s largest Rube Goldberg machine

Behold, the world record has been broken for the most complicated Rube Goldberg contraption. It uses 300 steps to inflate and pop a balloon. “What a piece of work is man,” wrote Shakespeare (though I think he had something else in mind.) Just watch.  And wonder. [Read more…]

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Happy birthday, Joe

Catholic neighbors send warm wishes to a beloved Jewish institution in the Bronx: This Bronx parking-lot valet started driving when Model Ts were kings of the road. Joe Binder turned 102 yesterday, celebrating 25 years as the booth attendant at Mario’s Restaurant on Arthur Avenue — a job he landed when gas cost 89 cents [Read More…]

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