A look in the mailbag and around the ‘sphere

Jumping off from the Hubbel image and the last paragraph of yesterday’s post on the Immaculate Conception, Texan Dilys at Good and Happy has come up with a brilliant graphic:

Sadly, I don’t know how to do a “click to enlarge” thingie for you (I wish I could) but Dilys has taken the Hubbel image, and turned it into a yo-yo. The string, taken from here reads:

“…in every assent we utter, every stitch we knit, every empty bowl we fill, every lonely life we consent to touch, every hateful remark we respond to with love, we create something where there was nothing. With our every “yes,” we assist in creation, with the continuation of the world. We work with the Creator, for whom no need is too small, for whom love knows no limits. It is the Great Secret.”

I totally do have the coolest readers.

Other goodies in my mailbag:

Reader Mary Ellen writes that she enjoyed the cowpoke talk in another round-up, but more importantly, she has learned to Love The Bryn:

My lawd, you shure cheered up my neck of the woods and by doggity, we needed it bad. Thanks again for upping the ante with your hilarity as well as seriousness too. Have a durn gud Christmas time. You ben a gud girl and ole Santy needs to rewards ye. Insted of visions of sugar plums dancing in my head, you’ve got visions of (Bryn) Terfel dancing in mine. Your introduction to his singin has been a hot diggity dog highlite of my year.

I’ve actually got a lots of folks writing to tell me they’ve come to Love the Bryn, even a few men. They’re also nice enough to tell me they still Love the Brede. Which is nice. I always like it when a book I recommend pleases someone.

Meanwhile Reader Greg, interested in this definition of sin wrote to say: “When thinking about sin, always go back to Augustine” and then he paraphrased that Doctor of the Church very succinctly: “Sin, in a nutshell is: The use of that which should be loved and the love of that which should be used.”

Perfect! I love it. And we can all use a “shorter Augustine” in our lives. That might be a very good book idea: Augustine for Dummies (yes, that’s me with my hand up! I’ll buy it!)

Speaking of anything “for Dummies,” reader Mark, who earlier this year came to my defense in a famously profanity-laden email in which he encouraged me to continue talking opera on my site, has written to tell me that Opera for Dummies has become his favorite book of the year. I’m glad, Mark. I notice you must not have purchased it through The Bookshelf, but I forgive! I forgive! :-)

Speaking of the Bookshelf, I plan on updating it next week, so check back – you might get some last-minute Christmas ideas!

Readers Klaire and Munnchi are both urging me to go see Mel Gibson’s Apocalypto, which they both, in seperate emails, called “A Masterpiece.” Klaire said, “as you wrote [when Gibson spouted his anti-semitic crap] ‘God is not done yet, with Mel Gibson.'” He’s not done with any of us, of course. Meanwhile First Things has an interesting review of Apocalypto and reviews of The Nativity and The Fountain, as well. Apocalypto opened bigger than Braveheart. I know I intend to see it, and I haven’t been inside a movie theater in a while.

Finally, another reader named Greg has taken issue with my categories – particularly with Global Warming is Hoo-hah. “Apparently you do not know, Anchoress, that ‘hoo-hah’ is a vulgar term for a woman’s private parts.” He feels that as a Christian woman I should not be using the phrase. He isn’t terribly fond of the All Those Vaginas category, either.

Well, in fact, I did not know that about the expression “hoo-hah.” I would imagine, given my repeated attempts to mock-into-silence the champions of “vaginal intellect” and olympian “tonality” that I get more “vagina” email than the average blogger, and I have never had anyone refer to it as a “hoo-hah.” For the record, I spent early years close to Brooklyn and have fond memories of the adults around me playing cards with neighborly Jewish women for whom the expression “hoo-hah” meant “nonsense.”

With all due respect, and fully appreciating your best intentions, Greg, as I imagine I will continue to jeer at the Vagina Monologues and its sister movements, and Global Warming will continue to be nonsense, those categories will remain. So will occasional oddities like this calendar of hunky priests.

Elsewhere around the sphere:

Jules Crittenden says the anti-war left is feeling emboldened and the Dread Pirate Bluto proves him right.

I have not been remotely interested in Mary Cheney’s pregnancy, but Tigerhawk points out that the NY Times is up in arms about it (how dare a conservative person not behave the way our stereotype insists!) and Ed Morrissey thinks there is plenty of unseemly reaction to go around. I concur. God bless the baby, who brings new love into the world, and there you go.

Mudville Gazette shows some surprising raw numbers re the war in Iraq.

The folks at Maggies Farm need to get together. One of them doesn’t want much for Christmas, the other wants everything – literally everything.

More Growth Exceeding Forecasts. Maybe if the forecasters would stop predicting gloom and doom because there is an R in the WH, things would stop exceeding their expectations. The busy Lorie Byrd tells why that’s unlikely to happen.

Less Government Transparency, The Senate goes behind closed doors. The better for the GOP to hold its ankles and say, “thank you, sir, may I have another,” while the Dems say, “now don’t you dare try to be obstructionists…that was our job, and when we did it we were being patriots. If you do it, you’ll be traitors!” H/T Kim.

Then again, who needs transparency when stuff like this story go barely reported. Yes, you read that right, Gaius informs us that “the House yesterday passed a major bill that would allow expanded offshore oil drilling.” Also interesting – yes, the Dem leadership knew about Foley and held it for the election. Not a surprise, of course. We all knew that. Just thought I’d mention it. And of course now that the election is over so is the story.

Drudge says “Clinton says he would talk to Iran…” Well, of course he would, the man talks. That’s what he does. He talked a lot all through the 1990’s from the first act of terrorism on his watch, the first bombing of the WTC, to the last (the attack on the USS COLE) and did little else. And he LOOOOVES Iran, as evidence by this quote:

“Iran is the only country in the world that has now had six elections since the first election of President Khatami (in 1997). (It is) the only one with elections, including the United States, including Israel, including you name it, where the liberals, or the progressives, have won two-thirds to 70 percent of the vote in six elections: Two for president; two for the Parliament, the Majlis; two for the mayoralties. In every single election, the guys I identify with got two-thirds to 70 percent of the vote. There is no other country in the world I can say that about, certainly not my own.”

Clinton gave Iran nuclear blueprints, too, right? I am not worried though. If Iran does decide to blow Israel off the map, I know Bill Clinton will grab a rifle, jump into the trenches and fight and die for Israel.

Is Tony Blair the real “defender of the faith” in England? Tigerhawk thinks maybe yes.

Episode 2 of the very silly The America Show is up on youtube. I don’t think all of it “works,” but it seems to be getting a lot of attention. Maybe the unwatchable The View should have hired Julia Goren.

Finally, the AP is still insisting that its “six men burned alive, four mosques torched” story is true, – just because they say it is, dammit, even though no one can be found to substantiate it. Confederate Yankee notes that most bloggers on the left seem okay with the press going “Truthy” as long as it’s a truthiness they like. Dangerous game, that. Grow a monster like that, and eventually it is gonna bite you, too. CY and Flopping Aces are responding to the AP an organization which is taking umbrage at daring to be questioned by mere bloggers, but still not willing to look too deeply into its own sources. MIchelle Malkin has a good roundup on that story. And more here. Doug Ross has some fun at the press’ expense, too.

And oh, yes. Global Warming is still hoo-hah. And wind farms aren’t all that, either.

Oh, don’t forget to vote at the Weblog Awards for your favorite blogs! Lileks is clobbering the rest of us but he’s my writing hero, so I don’t mind!

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