Tarry for the Nonce

February 28, 2006

Deus Caritas Est

Filed under: Religion — lmwalker @ 6:54 pm

I wish I had been mature enough to understand Monsignor Robert Sokolowski‘s homilies when I was little:

It would be hard to say that “God is love” apart from the doctrine of the Holy Trinity. Even if one were to think that the deity is benevolent, one could still not say that it is love. That sort of divine love would be relative and not substantial in the deity.

Only because the Father gives everything to the Son, and because the Son and Father express their love in the Holy Spirit, can one say, with St. John, that God is love. I don’t see how such an understanding of God could have arisen in philosophical thinking.

(Hat tip to Janice Walker.)

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February 27, 2006

No Deposit, No Return

Filed under: Entertainment — lmwalker @ 4:25 pm

Don Knotts died on Friday.

Darren McGavin died on Saturday.

‘Twas not a good weekend for old Disney colleagues.

Calling in the Big Youngs

Filed under: Politics — lmwalker @ 4:21 pm

I was wondering why Wal-Mart was getting such bad press lately – and then it dawned on me: they don’t work with unions.

All is clear.

Civil rights leader and former Atlanta mayor Andrew Young will become the public face of a Wal-Mart-backed group whose aim is to combat criticism of the world’s largest retailer, the group said on Monday.

Young, who was an aide to Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. during the civil rights protests of the 1960s and served as ambassador to the United Nations under President Jimmy Carter, will serve as chairman of Working Families for Wal-Mart’s national steering committee, the group said in a statement.

Ave Maria, Florida

Filed under: Religion — lmwalker @ 4:14 pm

If you were Catholic and had your choice, would you choose a Catholic town?

A former marine who was raised by nuns and made a fortune selling pizza has embarked on a £230m plan to build the first town in America to be run according to strict Catholic principles . . .

Tom Monaghan, the founder of the Domino’s Pizza chain, has stirred protests from civil rights activists by declaring that Ave Maria’s pharmacies will not be allowed to sell condoms or birth control pills. The town’s cable television network will carry no X-rated channels . . .

The land on the western edge of the Everglades swamp will eventually house up to 30,000 people, with 5,000 students living on the university campus . . .

The Florida developers managing the project claim more than 7,000 people have already expressed interest in buying homes in the town. Retailers and other businesses are reportedly close to leasing 60% of the intended commercial space.

So what’s the big deal? Personally, I would not choose to live there (mostly because I don’t care for Florida weather,) but why does it matter if others would? I also would not choose to live on a kibbutz in Israel, but I don’t mind if others do. The way I read it, no one is being held prisoner in the town, but it is being provided as a convenience for those who wish to raise their children (or maintain themselves) in a certain cultural atmosphere. Religion-based housing discrimination is, of course, against the law, but so what if the local businesses are required to uphold certain values. So what if the Ave Maria pharmacy won’t sell you contraceptives? Florida has thousands of pharmacies. So what if the Ave Maria movie house won’t show porn? Florida has hundreds of movie theaters.

Americans already segregate themeselves into little cultural bastions (“Chinatown,” “Greektown,” etc.) and common community values are observed within each. Heck, some people actually pay for the privilege of living in developments with ridiculous yard-maintenance rules and homeowner’s associations. How is this any different?

February 24, 2006

Like Sands Through the Hourglass

Filed under: Anecdotes — lmwalker @ 3:57 pm

Brent Taylor has pointed to me to the Death Clock.

Apparently, I am slated to die on Wednesday, February 24, 2055.

Gee, thanks, Brent. Thanks a lot.

Ode to a Maintenance Coder

Filed under: Entertainment — lmwalker @ 3:23 pm

From the semi-lucid mind of Gabe Sechan (with apologies to Robert Frost)

Whose code this is I think I know,
He does no longer work here though.
He will not mind me typing here
To howls of pain and tears of woe.

My coworkers all ran in fear
When this deadline did loom too near.
Vacation and sick days they take
So it would not stain their career.

I give my drooping head a shake
As I fix a stupid mistake,
And fight against the feature creep
I sob and beg for a short break.

The code belongs in the trash heap.
But I have paychecks yet to reap.
And lines to code before I sleep.
And lines to code before I sleep.

February 23, 2006

Adding Injury to Insult

Filed under: Religion — lmwalker @ 4:05 pm

A German court on Thursday convicted a businessman of insulting Islam by printing the word “Koran” on toilet paper and offering it to mosques . . .

Manfred van H. printed out sheets of toilet paper bearing the word “Koran” shortly after a group of Muslims carried out a series of bomb attacks in London in July 2005. He sent the paper to German television stations, magazines and some 15 mosques . . .

He also offered his toilet paper for sale on the Internet at a price of 4 euros ($4.76) per roll, saying the proceeds would go toward a “memorial to all the victims of Islamic terrorism.”

The maximum sentence for insulting religious beliefs under the German criminal code is three years in prison.

‘Tis a good reminder that European notions of free speech aren’t quite that of America.

Imagine if Germany had held such views in, say, October of 1517.

Feeling a Rush?

Filed under: Science — lmwalker @ 3:57 pm

Americans work less efficiently?

Workers completed two-thirds of their work in an average day last year, down from about three-quarters in a 1994 study, according to research conducted for Day-Timers Inc., an East Texas, Pennsylvania-based maker of organizational products . . .

The average time spent on a computer at work was almost 16 hours a week last year, compared with 9.5 hours a decade ago, according to the Day-Timer research released this week.

Workers typically get 46 e-mails a day, nearly half of which are unsolicited, it said.

Sixty percent of workers say they always or frequently feel rushed, but those who feel extremely or very productive dropped to 51 percent from 83 percent in 1994, the research showed . . .

Expectations that technology would save time and money largely haven’t been borne out in the workplace, said Ronald Downey, professor of psychology who specializes in industrial organization at Kansas State University.

“It just increases the expectations that people have for your production,” Downey said.

Speaking of work productivity . . .

I Am a Team Player

Filed under: Anecdotes — lmwalker @ 1:54 pm

I am tied for two of my favorite crews:


You scored as Serenity (Firefly). You like to live your own way and don’t enjoy when anyone but a friend tries to tell you should do different. Now if only the Reavers would quit trying to skin you.


You scored as Babylon 5 (Babylon 5). The universe is erupting into war and your government picks the wrong side. How much worse could things get? It doesn’t matter, because no matter what you have your friends and you’ll do the right thing. In the end that will be all that matters. Now if only the Psi Cops would leave you alone.

. . . and Farscape too, but I never really watched that show.


You scored as Moya (Farscape). You are surrounded by muppets. But that is okay because they are your friends and have shown many times that they can be trusted. Now if only you could stop being bothered about wormholes.

Full results:

Babylon 5 (Babylon 5)

81%

Serenity (Firefly)

81%

Moya (Farscape)

81%

Nebuchadnezzar (The Matrix)

75%

SG-1 (Stargate)

75%

Enterprise D (Star Trek)

69%

Deep Space Nine (Star Trek)

63%

Bebop (Cowboy Bebop)

56%

Galactica (Battlestar: Galactica)

56%

Andromeda Ascendant (Andromeda)

50%

Millennium Falcon (Star Wars)

50%

FBI's X-Files Division (The X-Files)

44%

Your Ultimate Sci-Fi Profile II: which sci-fi crew would you best fit in?

Life is good.

(Hat tip to Kevin Miller.)

Pig Poop

Filed under: News — lmwalker @ 1:40 pm

I am surely glad I don’t live in Bavaria:

A village in the German state of Bavaria is recovering after being flooded with liquid pig manure.

A tank containing the fetid fertiliser burst, sending a deluge of porcine waste into the courtyards and streets of Elsa, police said.

The sewage was half a metre (1.6ft) deep in places.

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