Latin as the language of botany

The field of botany has changed its requirement that new species have their official scientific descriptions be written up in Latin.  Now an English description–though not a description in some other language–will be acceptable.  (The scientific name will still be Latin based.)  The article on the subject, though, shows just how important Latin has been and still is important in the sciences.  For one thing, ironically, the English technical vocabulary that will replace Latin itself derives from Latin etymology.  From… Read more

“I’m neither religious nor spiritual–I’m a Lutheran”

You know that viral video from the guy who says he hates religion but loves Jesus?  Well, Anthony Sacramone kind of agrees with him: I like to say that I’m neither religious nor spiritual — I’m a Lutheran. It’s more than just left of pithy; it’s true. I have zero interest in religion. I had plenty of it as a kid. Sunday school; religion classes in my Lutheran parochial schools; confirmation classes. I was an acolyte and a winner of… Read more

Newt takes South Carolina in a landslide

Newt Gingrich won the South Carolina primary in overwhelming fashion.  Now each of the four contenders left standing has won a primary except for Ron Paul. The South Carolina primary results: Newt Gingrich 243,398      40.4% Winner Mitt Romney 167,957          27.9% Rick Santorum 102,213       17.0% Ron Paul 78,093                   13.0% Others 10,772                          1.8% via South Carolina primary results, visits and political geography – 2012 Campaign Republican Primary Tracker – The Washington Post – The Washington Post. Gingrich rises, falls, then rises again. … Read more

Joe Paterno dies

Penn State football was Joe Paterno’s life.  Now, shortly after he was fired from the scandal-plagued program, he died.   He had a treatable form of cancer, but it killed him at age 85. Do you think the timing was coincidental, the cancer being the sole physical reason why he died, or can mental trauma be a cause of death?  Do you know any other examples of that? Fired Penn State coach Joe Paterno dead at 85 – Yahoo! News. Read more

Choosing death vs. choosing life

Sunday was the anniversary of the Roe vs. Wade decision in 1973.  Today is the March for Life in Washington, D. C. Those who believe in abortion call themselves “pro-choice.”  Women indeed do have the “choice” of whether to get an abortion or let the child live.  Rev. James Lamb, director of Lutherans for Life, has some provocative reflections on “choice”: “I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death,… Read more

With the liturgy, “you never need words for joy”

Rev. Samuel Schuldheisz points us to the role of the liturgy–including the Psalms and the classic hymns of praise–in the life of J. R. R. Tolkien.  This is from a letter to his son, Christopher: “If you don’t do so already, make a habit of the ‘praises’. I use them much (in Latin): the Gloria Patri, the Gloria in Excelsis, the Laudate Dominum; the Laudete Pueri Dominum (of which I am specially fond), one of the Sunday psalms; and the… Read more

Big campaign developments

Texas Governor Rick Perry has dropped out of the GOP presidential race.  He endorsed Newt Gingrich.  So did Sarah Palin. Ex-candidate Herman Cain, however, endorsed “the people.” Gingrich’s former wife is saying that he wanted “an open marriage” even as he was making speeches about family values. Meanwhile, Rick Santorum won the Iowa caucuses.  A miscount had given the victory to Mitt Romney, but it turns out that Santorum actually had 34 more votes. So where does all of this… Read more

Obama stops oil pipeline

President Obama said “no” to the pipeline that would transport Canadian oil from that country’s vast reserves of oil sand to the refineries of Texas, creating jobs along the whole route.  Even the liberal Washington Post editorial board thinks that decision is foolish and makes the point that stopping the pipeline won’t even help the environment: Without the pipeline, Canada would still export its bitumen — with long-term trends in the global market, it’s far too valuable to keep in… Read more

The internet strike may have worked

The Wikipedia blackout and other protests on the internet to the SOPA bill may have done some good.   Congressmen, including former sponsors in the House and the Senate, are now running away from the bill.  President Obama has also come out against the bill as it stands, provoking Hollywood moguls to threaten to withdraw their financial support of his campaign.   Read more

National Champions

Forget about the BCS Bowls, the NCAA tournament, and the tortured definitions of “student athlete.”  To me, I am proudest of these national champions:  Patrick Henry College students J. C. Cartee and Andrew Ferguson who won the national undergraduate moot court championship! Moot court involves students pretending to argue a case before an appellate court (one of which would be the Supreme Court).  They prepare briefs, make their argument before a judge against an opposing side, and respond to questions… Read more

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