Papa-Lu: August 2006 Archives

Parting Shot

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Andre Agassi is hobbling through the final event of a legendary career. I'd like to get my hopes up that he can make a run for the title and go out on top, but with his back as bad as it's been, I'm not going to get my hopes up. If he can make it far enough that I can see his final match on broadcast television, I'll be happy. Anything on top of that will be icing.

So instead of riling myself up for this event, I'll be content with memories. My all-time favorite being an early-round match in the French Open, sometime in the very-early 1990s Agassi was getting his rear handed to him by a chump when. During a break, he leaned his racket against his chair and smashed it in two with his foot, like you might do with an extra-long piece of firewood. He reached into his bag and grabbed a new racket, and - without hesitation - smashed it in the same way. A third racket met the same fate. The fourth he used to win the match.

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Happy Feast Day to Me!

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augustine.jpg
Today is the Memorial of St. Augustine, Bishop and Doctor of the Church. Patron of pretty much everybody: from beer brewers to people with sore eyes to the Diocese of Kalamazoo to yours truly.

Here is the Catholic Encyclopedia entry for Augustine.
Here is an English translation of the Confessions online.

And here is the text (courtesy of Zenit) of the Holy Father's address before praying the Angelus yesterday, which he dedicated to St. Augustine and his mother, St. Monica:

Dear Brothers and Sisters:

Today, Aug. 27, we remember St. Monica, and tomorrow we will remember her son, St. Augustine: Their testimonies can be of great consolation and help for many families also of our time.

Monica, born in Tagaste, in present-day Algeria (in Souk-Arhas), of a Christian family, lived in an exemplary way her mission of wife and mother, helping her husband Patricius to discover, little by little, the beauty of faith in Christ and the strength of evangelical love, capable of overcoming evil with good.

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One for Mama-Lu (and the whole Webb clan)

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Here a blog, there a blog

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I just this week discovered that old friends and fellow U of I alums Shawn and Tracy Reeves have blogs. Check them out!

Shawn's blog
Tracy's blog

In other blog news, Ceebs has entered Mundelein seminary. Be sure to keep him in your prayers as he goes through formation.

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Bavarian Agenda

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The Vatican has released the Holy Father's schedule for next month's trip to his homeland.

Here's a summary from Zenit.

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"It's always a disaster."

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The Chi-Trib has a sad piece (originally from the Boston Globe) on the views of black youth on marriage. The verdict: few desire it.

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Pius XII and the Jews

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The Tablet blurbs on an article that appeared in the Italian La Stampa on the discovery of the 60-year old diary of an Augustinian sister. The diary reveals that the convent sheltered Jews from the Nazis at the direct request of Pope Pius XII. Please note this will do nothing to quiet the chants of "Hitler's Pope!"

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Convocation

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Compendium Online

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The Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church - an abbreviated, question-and-answer version of the larger Catechism - has been published on-line here.

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Husbands, lust after your wives?

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As part of a larger look at the sin of lust, Beliefnet is rerunning a 2002 piece by Rabbi Shmuley Boteach (whom I disagreed with last week). The upshot is that lust is OK if it's directed towards your wife.

Lust, per se, is not a sin. What is sinful is focusing our lust on strangers, instead of those to whom we are married. Lust for someone who is not your spouse is a sin, because it degrades your husband or wife. This lust is, indeed, the kind the ancients worried about--lust that demeans and debases, the kind that 32 percent of those responding to the Beliefnet poll say they are guilty of.

But there is no reason people should feel guilty if they focus their lust in the right direction. By restoring lust to the marriage bed, we can avoid adultery and broken marriages.

Now, if the rabbi is using "lust" merely as a synonym for "desire," then there's no problem with these words. Indeed, dictionary.com defines it as simply "Intense or unrestrained sexual craving." (Although even here we see a difference between "intense" and "unrestrained.")

However, we think of lust with a fairly negative connotation for reasons that are not puritanical. For although desire is perfectly normal and even necessary for a healthy marriage, it can be corrupted by selfishness to the point where a man no longer desires his wife as a person, but as an object.

Boteach's point is that the kind of desire that is sinful when directed outside the marriage isn't necessarily sinful if it's directed towards the spouse. That's all fine and good, but the seven deadly sins are not just external expressions, they are also internal dispositions, meaning they can corrupt the heart, even if not acted out. This is why the Rabbi Boteach's contrarian position does more harm than good.

Men should desire their wives, and surely many marriages flounder due to a loss of such desire. But in an age where utilitarian sex is the norm, we should be wary of giving the green light to all of man's sexual impulses.

There is much else that is wrong, or at the very least weird with Boteach's article, but alas, work calls.

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Who Needs a Babysitter?

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Sitting here listening to the sweet, sweet sound of Matthew tickling Charlie's toes:

M: "Tiki Tiki Tiki Tiki!"
C: "YAAAAAAA HAHAHA YAAAAAAHAHAHA"

It strikes me that they could quite happily do this all day. In which case, maybe Mama-Lu and I could sneak out out for dinner and a movie....

To the folks at DCFS: Just kidding!

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Dear Jennifer

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3 years ago today...

Wedding.JPG

When we bound ourselves together, I could have not have imagined our life could be so rich in only three short years.

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. Let all men know your forbearance. The Lord is at hand. Have no anxiety about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, will keep your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

To celebrate (and to satiate the masses), here are a few photos of the boys, dating back to January:

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On Second Thought

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Maybe I could have gone to bed two hours ago instead of waiting up to catch the final Cubs score.

See the insane box score here.

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Geek out on this

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The R2 is a high-resolution digital video camera that shoots in three hundred and sixty degrees. Specifically, it is a bouquet of nine cameras, nine mirrors, and nine microphones, arrayed in a circle and mounted on a tripod; it resembles a lunar module, or an apocalyptic explosive device...
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2 for Mama-Lu (and for all parents)

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  1. Danielle Bean's post on handling a toddling boy at Mass (see, we're not the only ones!).

  2. Rachel Balducci documento-blogs the effects of sugar on young human males.

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Progress: from Malaria to Diabetes

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If you doubt that history has a strong affinity for irony, behold:

The forgotten diseases of the poor world are finally getting some attention. Warren Buffett’s $31 billion donation to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is just the latest and most spectacular milestone in an increasingly aggressive campaign against infectious diseases, including tuberculosis, malaria, and HIV/AIDS. But even as the rich world finally grapples with this challenge, a new and more menacing threat to the developing world’s health is gathering.

Chronic ailments such as diabetes, cancer, and heart and respiratory disease are hitting poor countries faster and harder than expected. Perversely, economic growth and development is hastening the arrival of rich-world diseases before poor countries’ health systems can prepare.

Revolutionary changes in transportation, advertising, and food production have conspired to alter lifestyles abruptly in many parts of the developing world. Popular Western junk food, cheap cigarettes, and a flood of new automobiles mean that many citizens of poor countries eat worse and exercise less than they did only a decade ago. The movement of people from the countryside to more lucrative jobs in the cities has exacerbated the trend. Public health awareness in most poor countries hasn’t caught up. This new affluence means that the poorest countries are now fighting a two-front war on disease.

Diabetes—a disease usually associated with affluent societies—is particularly dangerous. In countries with weak health infrastructures, it is anything but the manageable condition it can be in the rich world. A person in Mozambique who requires insulin injections, for example, will probably live no more than a year. In Mali, the average life span after onset is 30 months. According to the International Diabetes Federation, the number of people around the world suffering from the disease has jumped in the past two decades from 30 million to 230 million. Almost 40 million Chinese over the age of 20 have diabetes. Neighboring India ranks second with an estimated 30 million, or 6 percent of its population. In some countries in the Caribbean and the Middle East, 12 to 20 percent of the population is diabetic. Seven of the 10 countries with the most diabetics are in the developing world.

From the same article comes a staggering nugget:

In China, 300 million men smoke cigarettes and 160 million adults are hypertensive. Many of them will contract chronic diseases at young ages, and the economic consequences will be profound. China alone lost an estimated $18 billion in national income in 2005 to heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. The cumulative loss between 2005 and 2015 will likely be $556 billion, a staggering sum for an economy that is still modernizing.

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Professor Ratzinger

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This weekend, the Pope gave a sit-down television interview to German journalists ahead of his visit there next month. Here is the English translation. It's well worth 10-15 minutes of yout time.

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Room by Room

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Here's one for Mama-Lu:

On Point: Winifred Gallagher: House Thinking.

"Home," said Robert Frost, "is the place where, when you go there, they have to take you in." But if that home is a house, how will it make you feel once you're there?

Psychology editor Winifred Gallagher has written a psychological tour of the American home, room by room. She calls it "House Thinking" but it's really about how houses make us feel - and why. About how we shape houses, and then they shape us -- for years, maybe for life. The alcove that enfolds. The shaft of morning sun. The intimate and the public faces. From Edith Wharton's bedroom to McMansion-land.

Hear about how our houses make us think and act and feel.

I listened to this show a while back, and Mama-Lu's reading the book. The interview was Very thought-provoking, though I'll let Mama-Lu comment (if she wants) on the details, as she is far and away the home guru of the family.

I will say that this gets to what I actually liked about Crunchy Cons. Both books speak to the need for a more reflective lifestyle. Whereas the home chapter of Crunchy Cons (like the rest of the book) deals with this in an ethical and environmental sense (where you live, size of house, etc.), Gallagher talks about tailoring our environment - be it by remodeling or simply moving stuff around - to our lifestyle. Changing our setup to reflect the needs of how we live - or how we want to live - can result in a more pleasurable living experience and overall peace of mind.

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Benedict, Evolution, Design

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At the beginning of September, Pope Benedict XVI will hold a meeting of his former grad students, as he has done every year for about three decades now. Each year, the meetings focus on a single topic, which is analyzed and debated at a high-octane theological and intellectual level. This year's topic will be "Creation and Evolution."

John Allen provides analysis focusing on the speakers lined up for the meeting and what they will likely say. He also has a quickie interview with Fr. Stephan Horn, a Salvatorian priest whom Allen describes as the "informal chair" of the group.

Sandro Magister is also on the case. Last week he gave a recap of last year's meeting, and this week he provides a pre-game analysis by running an excellent article from the Vatican newspaper: “L’Osservatore Romano” on design and evolution:

From this comes the importance of the current debate on God’s plan for creation. It is known that supporters of intelligent design (ID) do not deny evolution, but they do claim that certain complex structures could not have appeared as a result of random events. For them, such complexity requires God’s special intervention during evolution and therefore it falls within the purview of intelligent design. Apart from the fact that mutations to biological structures cannot by themselves explain everything since environmental changes must also occur, by introducing external or corrective factors with respect to natural phenomena, a greater cause is included to explain what we do not know yet but might know. In doing so though, what we are engaged in can no longer be called science but is something that goes beyond it. Despite shortcomings in Darwin’s model, it is a methodological fallacy to look for another model outside the realm of science while pretending to do science.

All things considered, the decision by the Pennsylvania judge therefore appears to be the right one. Intelligent design does not belong in science class and it is wrong to teach it alongside Darwin as if it were a scientific theory. All that it does is blur the boundary between what is scientific and what is philosophic and religious, thus sowing confusion in people’s minds. What is more, a religious point of view is not even necessary to admit that the universe is based on an overall design. It is far better to acknowledge that from a scientific point of view the issue is still open. Putting aside the divine economy which operates through secondary causes (and almost shies away from its role as creator), it is not clear why some of nature’s catastrophic events or some of its meaningless evolutionary structures or lineages, or dangerous genetic mutations, were not avoided in the intelligent design.

Unfortunately, one must in the end also acknowledge that Darwinist scientists have a tendency to view evolution dogmatically, going from theory to ideology, upholding a way of thinking that explains all living phenomena, including human behavior, in terms of natural selection at the expense of other perspectives. It is almost as if evolution ought to make creation redundant so that everything was self-made and reducible to random probabilities.

In terms of creation, the Bible stresses design and life’s radical reliance on God, but it does not say how all this came about. Empirical observation sees the universe’s harmony, which is based on the laws of nature and the properties of matter, but necessarily must refer to a greater cause, not through scientific proof but on the basis of rational arguments. Denying this amounts to taking an ideological, not a scientific stance. Whatever the causes, be they random or inherent in nature, science with its methods can neither prove nor disprove that a greater design was involved. “Even the outcome of a truly contingent natural process can nonetheless fall within God’s providential plan for creation,” says ‘Communion and Stewardship’. What to us may seem random must have been present in God’s will and mind. God’s plan for creation can unfold through secondary causes as natural phenomena take their course, with necessary reference to miraculous interventions pointing in one or other direction. Or as Teilhard de Chardin put it: “God does not make things, but he makes sure they are made.” Similarly, “God is the first cause who operates in and through secondary causes,” this according to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, (n. 308).

There's more, and it's all quite good.

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Christians in the Holy Land

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This week, The Tablet has coverage of Christians in the Holy Land suffering from the violence.

  • Lebanese Christians
    Food, clean water, milk and medicine were urgently needed and, despite the destruction of roads, bridges and power lines, the bishop was confident that the Church's infrastructure would enable him to get emergency aid through to villages in some of the most remote areas.

    According to Aid to the Church in Need, Lebanon has for many years been seen by church leaders as a sanctuary for Christians in the Middle East, and the clash between Hezbollah and Israel has prompted fears that an exodus of Christians from the region could spell disaster for the survival of the Church in the whole region. The director of a centre east of Saida run by the Melkite Greek Catholic Patriarchate of Lebanon described the situation as "tragic and catastrophic".

  • Iraqi Christians
    Half OF Iraq's Christian population has left the country in the last five years, according to Bishop Andreas Abouna of Baghdad.

    In an interview with the Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need, which supports persecuted Christians around the world, Bishop Abouna said that the number who have fled Baghdad could even be as high as 75 per cent.

    Speaking during a visit to London last week, the bishop described how the state of anarchy in Iraq was driving away his flock. "What we are hearing now is the alarm bell for Christianity in Iraq. When so many are leaving from a small community like ours, you know that it is dangerous - dangerous for the future of the Church in Iraq," he said.

    The bishop estimated that 600,000 Christians had left since 2002 - most of them going to Turkey, Jordan and Syria, where they sought sanctuary, initially on a temporary basis. The signs of them returning in the near future, however, were "increasingly bleak".

  • A general look at the situation of Christians in the Middle East
    A profound series of crises has overtaken Middle Eastern Christianity in modern times. Displacement by war, genocide and interreligious conflict, leading to loss, emigration and exile are the main experiences of its followers. Some observers have even suggested that there is a "Christian barometer" that provides the world with an accurate measurement of the political atmosphere in the Middle East, according to how the Christian minorities are treated.

    The theory goes that as the Middle East becomes more free and prosperous, linked to the West and hospitable to minorities and women, the higher the probability that the Christians will continue to live there. The most highly educated and multilingual Christians, who are part of a large diaspora in Europe and North America, may even return. But if Christians sense that things are getting worse, if the Arab countries they live in lose their commitment to political, economic and religious freedom, they tend to emigrate from the Middle East.

Catholic News Agency also picks up this beat with a sketch of the efforts of Catholic Relief Services to help all Lebanese people displaced by the violence.

If you want to donate to the relief efforts, here are two links:
Catholic Relief Services
Aid to the Church in Need

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Making old ladies cry

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We had a meeting at our parish on Tuesday, and afterwards, I wanted to check out our new adoration chapel. After some confusion over how to get in (try the door, dummy!), I walked Matthew in and knelt with him in front of the monstrance while Mama-Lu held Charlie. There were two other people in there, including an elderly woman, so I whispered to Matthew that Jesus was there, and he whispered "Hi."

Next I said we were going to say a prayer, so we made the sign of the cross and I prayed the Hail Mary while Matthew stood with his head down, hands together and whispering, which is how he prays. You really need to see it to understand how cute it is.

Then I said we had to leave and asked Matthew to say bye. He forgot to whisper and said in his normal voice, "Bye-bye Jeez!" At this, the woman, seated behind us, let out an audible gasp. I thought she was going to pass out. I turned around and she was all smiles.

I'm used to Matthew and Charles filling my day with joy (well, when they're not filling it with rage). There are a thousand hidden moments that Jenny and I have experienced together with our children in the quiet of our home - moments of kindness, or exceptional feats of agility, strength or just plain cuteness - that approximate moments of spiritual conversion in the joy they bring. It makes me happy and yes, just a bit proud to be abe able to share some of that happiness with others.

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Soft in the head

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WARNING: The following post is for mature audiences only.

Rabbi Shmuley Boteach (of Shalom in the Home fame) has lost his mind.

The science section of The New York Times recently featured a lengthy study on breast-feeding and its benefits. Breast-feeding, the study found, helps reduce the chances of infection, cold, diarrhea, illness, and even later childhood obesity. No one argues with any of these benefits, but what the report neglects to mention, and what I have personally witnessed when counseling couples, is how breast-feeding can come between a husband and wife.

I want to say right off the bat that this is a sensible thesis. It's a legitimate question that I have no problem being raised, but the good Rabbi's take is, I believe, bass-ackwards.

In the end, there are two effects of breast-feeding that we often refuse to acknowledge. One is the de-eroticization of a woman's body, as her husband witnesses one of the most attractive parts of her body serving a utilitarian rather than romantic purpose. This is not to say that breast-feeding isn't sexy. Indeed, the maternal dimension is a central part of womanliness. But public breast-feeding is profoundly de-eroticizing, and I believe that wives should cover up, even when they nurse their babies in their husband's presence. [Emphasis added]

Now, I am ordinarily loathe to throw this word around, but we have here is a plainly sexist argument. Here's why:

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Name that Baby

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Courtesy of Danielle Bean comes what may be the most evilest time-waster in the history of Internet time-wasters. The length of this post demonstrates that.

Go here (if you dare) for the 1000 most popular baby names of each gender since 1880.

Some notes:

  • The dominance of Michael
    "Michael" has maintained an impressive hegemony on the boys' side. Though it was relatively popular all century (its worst ranking was 56 in 1926), spending much of the first third in the 40s and 50s, in the late 1930s, it suddenly surged into the top 20 and in another decade jumped into the #1 spot, which it held (excepting "David" in 1960) from 1954 until 1999, when it yielded to Jacob, which has held the top spot ever since.

  • The rise of Christopher
    The mid-20th century saw "Christopher" go from obscurity to ubiquity. In 1933, "Christopher" was the 376th most popular boys' name. 10 years later, it was up to 184, another decade and it was at 61. In 1972, "Christopher" reached number 2, and for 24 years in the 70s , 80s and 90s, it held second or third place and was in the top 5 until 2002. Though it has remained in the top 10, it looks like it has been supplanted for the near future by "Jacob," Joshua" and "Matthew" (can't complain there) among others.

  • Going "Old" school
    In 1905, you had to go down to number 30 (Samuel) to find an overtly Old Testament name on the boys' list and there were a total of six in the top 100. There were only seven on the girls' side, though "Ruth" at number five is higher than any OT names on the boys' side.

    By 2005, the boys' side had exploded with OT names: #1 (Jacob), #3 (Joshua), #5 (Ethan), #7 (Daniel) and 17 others. OT girls' names have not caught on quite so much, as in 2005 there were only six in the top 100.

  • All about me
    In the year of my birth, my first and second names "Christopher" and "Jason" ranked third and second, respectively.

  • Female volatility
    As with so many things feminine (**DUCK**), girls' name rankings are subject to sudden and severe fluctuations. The prime example is "Madison" which was not even in the top 1000 before 1985, when it debuted at number 635. In 1991 it cracked the top 200, Shot into the top 30 in 1995 and has bounced betweek 3 and 2 all millenium.

    "Jennifer," the ever-fair Mama-Lu's christian name, was similarly not even on the charts until 1938 when it debuted at number 987. It took 20 years for it to crack the top 100, and then rose rapidly to be number one for 15 years, including the year of her birth. It has since slipped, though it still remains a top 50 name.

    "Laurie" is another strange case. On and off the charts, never above 900 until 1934, then rapidly rising to #42 in 1962. Completely off the charts since 1994. This one is complicated by the existence of alternates (the slightly- more popular Lori and the much, much more popular Laura)

    "Ava" has had perhaps the craziest trajectory: It was around in the first half of the century, peaking at 376 in 1954, but falling off completely in 1973. It fought a mostly losing battle to stay on the charts for the next 20 years. In 1990 it ranked 952. Then watch what happened:

    1991 847
    1993 739
    1995 739
    1997 618
    1999 259
    2001 133
    2003 39
    2005 9

    All told, three of the 2005 top ten girls' names were not even on the charts 20 years ago.

  • Where's Charlie?!!?
    I was very surprised to see that "Charles" isn't even a top-50 name anymore. Charles was a top 10 name for most of the century, but the 1950s saw the start of a long, slow slide that bumped it down to the mid-low 50s, where it's been since 2001.

  • Throughout the 1970s, "Eric" bounced between 13 and 18. In 1980, it was at 16. It has since steadily declined to #67. I'll let my cousin weigh in on that if he wants.

  • David has been pretty steady, being at or above #31 since 1905, with one shining moment at the top in 1960.

Did I mention this is a horrible timewaster?

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Scamming the Scammers

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Okay, you know those Nigerian email scams? Of course you do. Anybody with an email address knows what I'm talking about. If you don't, here's a summary.

Well here's a story from Wired News about people who are doing something about it.

Metimbers and crew turn the tables on scammers one by one, boomeranging the tricksters' own tactics to entice them into performing outlandish tasks in desperate pursuit of cash -- then trumpeting evidence of the con artists' naïveté for the online world's amusement.

A 43-year-old, self-employed computer engineer from Manchester, England, Metimbers has most recently spun counter-yarns that have compelled 419ers to make elaborate wood carvings, pose for comical photos and fly from London to Scotland. In one episode, which concluded in March after a five-month exchange, he succeeded in having a Nigerian fraudster tattoo "Baited by Shiver" on his body in order to claim a fictional $46,000 prize.

"Another time, the scammer thought he was going to get $18,000 out of me, but I actually got the guy to send me $80," said Metimbers, who started the 419 Eater community site almost three years ago after receiving a wave of spam in his inbox.

"I've got between five and 10 on the go at any one time," Metimbers said. "The worst thing that could possibly happen to these guys is they get their photo slapped on a website. I feel like a cybervigilante, doing my bit for the public."

Awesome. Here's the whole story.

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Don't feed the troll

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I'm sorry, but I refused to be disturbed by the fact that Madonna is bringing her travelling crucifixion circus to Rome. Her very stage name is an insult against the Blessed Mother and throughout her career she has relished any opportunity to give the Catholic Church the finger. If her latest antics disappoint you in some way, you need to lower your expectations.

Madonna is an aging pop star who has lost whatever sex appeal she thought she once had and who clings to whatever cutting edge status she still retains by performing more and more outrageous stunts and kicking back while the ensuing outrage gives her invaluable publicity. Maybe she was once a force for changing culture, but now she's a parasite, manufacturing outrage and profiting off of it.

For goodness sake, just ignore her.

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Off Schorr

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I generally appreciate NPR, but their commentariat is the absolute worst, and sometimes I just don't get to the dial fast enough, and so I find myself listening to ageing nutbag Daniel Schorr get all misty-eyed reminiscing about Fidel Castro while spitting in the face of the Cuban exile community.

For years, under several presidents, but especially under President Kennedy, plots were hatched, sometimes in alliance with the mafia, to eliminate what was regarded as a Communist menace on our doorstep. He leaves his mark on history in the hundreds of thousdands of Cuban exiles and conservative Americans who have hated him for all those years. But in the end, Castro survived them all.

Emphasis mine. Funny that Schorr doesn't mention that Castro also survived millions of Cubans whom he immiserated in poverty, and tens of thousands of Cubans who've drowned in the Caribbean trying to flee his tyranny, and thousands more Cubans who have been killed by landmines trying to reach the U.S. base at Guantanamo Bay, and thousands of Cuban dissidents who died in prison or were executed after no trial or a show trial.

None of this matters to award-winning media legend Daniel Schorr when he spies an opportunity to stick his thumb in the eyes of Castro's enemies.

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Welcoming Life

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Living City - a magazine associated with the Catholic Focolare movement - has a brief, but inspiring message from a Chilean woman who gave birth to a little girl with Down's syndrome:

From one point of view we were frightened by the suffering and difficulties that awaited us. On the other hand a well of love had been opened up in us, as though that innocent being had opened a spring right in the heart of God. The reality that we experienced at that moment has been with us ever since.

Check it out.

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Latinos have arrived

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Picante.jpg

How do I know? Is it the news that Hispanics will soon become the largest minority? Is it the recent controversy over illegal immigration which drew attention to the large and growing Hispanic populations all over the country?

No and no.

Hispanics arrived on Saturday July 29, 2006, when "El Picante," an eight foot tall chorizo sausage, debuted at Miller Park to take part in the storied Sausage Race. Dressed in a guayabera with a red hankerchief tied around his neck and a sombrero, "El Picante" became an instant legend. This was his only appearance for 2006 as due to MLB's rules on new mascots (!), he cannot become a full-time sausage racer until 2007.

Here's the official press release for the event.

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New blog!

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Champaign locals and Newman alumni may be interested to know that the local Scola Cantorum has it's own blog. Members of the scola include Nick, who comments here frequently and longtime blogger Bill White. Check her out!

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August Prayer Intentions

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Here are the Holy Father's Prayer Intentions for August:

General prayer intention: That orphans may not lack the care necessary for their human and Christian formation.

Mission intention: That the Christian faithful may be aware of their own missionary vocation in every environment and circumstance.

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Mama-Lu's Etsy Shop

About this Archive

This page is a archive of recent entries written by Papa-Lu in August 2006.

Papa-Lu: July 2006 is the previous archive.

Papa-Lu: September 2006 is the next archive.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.