7QT: Preachy Swords and Pricey Peanut Butter

7QT: Preachy Swords and Pricey Peanut Butter March 13, 2015


— 1 —

I’ve been recommending Hamilton, Lin-Manuel Miranda’s hip hop musical for a while (tickets now on sale for Broadway!) and you can see a few nice clips in this CBS story, which also includes interviews with Miranda:


— 2 —

If you need any further persuading, take a look at how Miranda wrote the character descriptions for the Broadway run:

  • ALEXANDER HAMILTON – Eminem meets Sweeney Todd
  • AARON BURR – Javert meets Mos Def
  • GEORGE WASHINGTON – John Legend meets Mufasa
  • MARQUIS DE LAFAYETTE/THOMAS JEFFERSON (dual role) – Lancelot meets Ludacris/Harold Hill meets Drake

(Noah Millman’s review for AmCon is also a real pleasure to read)

— 3 —

I understand that Hamilton may leave you feeling a little unmoored in terms of genre, so why not get your bearings by checking The Toast’s guide to “How To Tell If You Are In A Shakespearean Comedy”

  • You will believe literally anything written in a letter.
  • You remain chaste throughout a series of tribulations and are rewarded with a husband whom you have never met.
  • There are but two forms of criminal justice in your town: capital punishment, or a public scolding from the Duke.


— 4 —

Another unusual story I enjoyed this week: this short story, written in response to the prompt: What would happen if an intelligent greatsword inhabited by an ancient paladin’s Lawful Good spirit was found by a mean-spirited ogre, and the sword kept making telepathic LG suggestions which the ogre dim-wittedly obeyed…

Not really the same thing as Diana Wynne Jones’s The Tough Guide to Fantasyland, but I suspect that if you like one, you’ll also enjoy the other.

— 5 —

If you want to investigate mysterious artifacts a little closer to home, you might want to check out Gizmodo’s story of $761 peanut butter, sold by the government.  It’s not a story of waste, but of accurate calibration, and a nice reminder that, when something sounds insane, it’s often a good idea to be a little curious rather than dismissive.

None of these materials are for consumption—or whatever it is you would think to do with lake sediment powder. Rather, SRMs serve a very particular purpose: NIST carefully measures the chemical content of their SRMs. Industrial labs all over the world buy SRMs to vaporize inside their gas chromagraphs and mass spectrometers and other devices, comparing those readings against NIST’s so they know their instruments are accurate. Food labs testing fatty foods need a fatty reference material like peanut butter, petroleum labs need crude oil, and so on.

— 6 —

Over at Dominicana, Br. Jordan Zajak has an interesting post using the Sorrowful and the Joyful mysteries of the Rosary to calibrate his response to both.  I really enjoyed reading his paired meditations.

The Second Mysteries: The Visitation & Scourging at the Pillar

Before abandonment comes openness. God can and does make Himself present, but we must have hearts open to recognize Him. Old and barren, Elizabeth no longer expected God could bless her with a child. But God reverses her and Zechariah’s disappointment in dramatic fashion. Her joy reaches its peak with Mary’s visitation. Whereas Mary, the creature, comes bearing the Creator, the scourging at the pillar is motivated by the creatures’ condemnation of the Creator. Jesus does not meet the expectations of the high priests and scribes, so they turn over God’s Son to Pilate to preserve their self-generated, false images of the messiah. Thus, when our false ideas about God are proven wrong, it can be for us, like Elizabeth, a blessing—or, as for the high priests, a stumbling block.

(And speaking of the Dominicans, my friend Br. Dominic is being ordained as a deacon tomorrow, so please keep him in your prayers)

— 7 —

Finally, I used the hashtag #LittleAngelsReadUp and the image below (both a reference to Terry Pratchett’s Night Watch) to ask friends yesterday if they’d never read Pratchett and if they’d like one of his books as a gift.  I wound up giving away copies of Men at ArmsHogfather, Witches Abroad, and Monstrous Regiment.  (The first three are great places to start in Discworld, the last was too perfect for the recipient to pass up).

Before I’d started thinking about giving books, I was already part of long fb threads on several walls that were mostly people just reposting favorite quotes until someone commented “I feel like I’m at a virtual wake.”  I did too, and I wanted our virtual wake to spill over into the streets, so I’ve been very happy to send books on their way.

Read the Lilac


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