24 April 2009

Coffee Bowl Browsing

Yet another reason to think that Super Nanny States are a bad idea

Protestant sect lays illegit claim to apostolic succession (Ugly Vestment Alert!)

Bishop D'Arcy spanks Fr. Jenkins for consulting with everyone but his own bishop

Faith on the Edge: GodSpy

The Civic Vices

My latest addiction

Book reviews, book reviews, book reviews

And even more book reviews

A George Weigel on-line archive

26 philosophical lectures on life, death, the soul, immortality

Eccentric words of wisdom

Funny philosophical one-liners (prepare to groan)

Jane Austen zombified

23 April 2009

The Crescat: Cannonball Blog Awards 2009

Truly, I am honored!

HancAquam has been nominated for recognition by the 2009 Cannonball Blog Awards, "a blog award not dominated by the usual suspects," in the category: "Best Blog by a Religious Who's Not Fr. Z."

These awards are meant to recognize "minor bloggers," those of us who don't get Mark Shea's and Fr. Z.'s level of traffic (e.g., HancAquam is averaging about 360 hits daily).

Head over and suggest a couple of more categories. . .my fav so far: "Best Bat Sh*t Crazy Blog"!

I'll keep you posted when voting starts. . .

22 April 2009

Laptop of my future?

If and when (God forbid!) I need to get a new laptop, I've decided that it will be this one:

Toshiba Satellite P305-S8904 (link)

I've configured it for the max bang for my mini bucks. . .this configuration is $870.00:
Processor: Intel® Core™2 Duo Processor T6400 (2.00GHz, 2MB L2, 800MHz FSB)
Operating System: Windows Vista® Home Premium (SP1, 32-Bit version), Microsoft® Office Software: Microsoft® Office Ready w/Microsoft Office Pro 2007, 60-day Trial
Memory: 2048MB PC6400 DDR2 800MHz SDRAM (2048MBx1)
Display: 17.0" Diagonal Widescreen WXGA+ TruBrite® display (1440x900)
Graphics Controller: Integrated Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 4500MHD
Hard Disk Drive: 60GB HDD (5400rpm, Serial-ATA)
Optical Drive: DVD SuperMulti (+/-R double layer) drive
Wireless: Wi-Fi®Intel® WiFi Link 5100AGN (802.11a/g/n)
Battery: Lithium Ion battery (6-Cell, 4000mAh)
Standard Warranty: 1 Year Standard Limited Warranty
Since most of this is complete gibberish to me, I would appreciate comments!

By comparison, what do we think of this one? (Satellite L355)

21 April 2009

more Coffee Bowl Browsing. . .

Planned Parenthood: killing babies and abetting child rape since 1921 (video embedded)

Church of Global Warming extremists scaring kids into obedience

This would never happen to me. . .I barely fit in the in-flight outhouse

It worked! Doesn't matter. . .it's still wrong

Left-lib journalist calls The One's stand against charter schools a sin

A lesson in republican (not GOP) values

The (very) positive side of the long-awaited "biological solution"

Martyred on the gallows of Tolerant Leftist Harpies

Pultizer Prizes announced! One of my fav poets won: W.S. Merwin

The Myth/Reality of "green jobs". . .hint: H.U.G.E. failure in Spain

The nation's most liberal court upholds the Second Amendment

Chunky Monkeys Skunking Climate, or Al Gore Wants You on a Diet!

OK. . .the Church of Global Warming is getting even more hysterical since recent polls show that their alarmist propaganda isn't working on the American public.

Case in point: Fatties are causing global warming. Apparently, idiocy in the service of ideology has no shame.

H/T: Drudge

20 April 2009

The weight of convincing truth

Look! A homily! Remember those. . .?

2nd Week of Easter (T): Acts 4.32-37; John 3.7-15
Fr. Philip N. Powell, OP
Convento SS. Domenico e Sisto, Roma

If I were to tell you that I witnessed the student protests in Tiananmen Square in 1989, while teaching English in China, you might want to know how I felt and what I was thinking. If I were to tell you that I witnessed the end of WWII, the surrender of the Axis Powers to the Allies in 1945, you might begin to wonder a bit about my age. If I were to tell you that I witnessed Pontus Pilate abandon Christ to the brutal mercies of the crowd in first-century Jerusalem, you would smile sympathetically, pat me on the shoulder, and then tell your friends, “That Fr. Philip is a really nice guy, but sometimes he lies.” If then, I were to bear witness to Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection from the dead, would you believe me? What is it that gives our witness the convincing weight of truth?

Nicodemus, Jewish political and religious leader, wealthy, upright citizen, approaches Jesus at night and poses several questions about the nature and necessity of being “born again.” In the dark of his night, Nicodemus seeks Christ’s light. Unfortunately, Jesus’ answers lead to more questions. Eventually, Jesus chastises Nicodemus, saying, “[…] we speak of what we know and we testify to what we have seen, but you people do not accept our testimony. If I tell you about earthly things and you do not believe, how will you believe if I tell you about heavenly things?” Jesus is putting the burden of belief on Nicodemus, chastising him for not accepting his witness to the truth of earthly things. But let’s look at it from Nicodemus’ view. What reason has Jesus given him to believe his testimony? What gives Jesus’ witness the convincing weight of truth?

Let’s bring this question home: why should anyone who does not believe the Church’s witness to Christ take our testimony about Christ as evidence for the truth of the gospel? Why should the non-believer believe you when you say, “Alleluia! Christ is risen!”? We have a hint in Acts: “The community of believers was of one heart and mind […] With great power the Apostles bore witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus[…].” How did they bear this witness: “[…] no one claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but they had everything in common […] There was no needy person among them […].” In other words, the apostles and those with them lived the death and resurrection of Christ with one heart and mind, dying to selfish want and rising to a new life in the Body. Did this public witness prove the truth of the faith? Not to everyone. But living the witness we proclaim, and not merely proclaiming it, tilts the scale of credibility heavily in our favor.

If our witness is to one faith, one baptism, one Lord, and we live as if there were many faiths, lots of baptisms, and multiple lords—a limitless diversity of opinion and unlimited options—then no one should believe us. If we proclaim a gospel of one heart and one mind in Christ, and then live as if there are countless hearts and numerous minds in many different Christs, no one should believe us. And no one will. We must lift up the Son of Man, Christ Jesus, not only with our tongues but with our hands as well. No other way will give our witness the weight of convincing truth.

New Laptop. . .but which one? (UPDATED)

OK. . .spoke with The Boss recently and there's general agreement that if a new laptop becomes necessary. . .well, it's necessary.

So, here's the question: in the event that a new laptop is needed, which one do I get?

Keep in mind the following requirements:

1). $800-$900

2). 17" screen (my eyes can't see anything smaller w/o ramping up the font-size to 16pt!)

3). I use my laptop for writing papers, blogging, general web browsing, and the occasional DVD.

4). No heavy graphics, music, chatting, gaming, web design, or anything much beyond basic academic work and blogging.

5). Nothing ugly. (OK--not really a requirement, but if it can be nice, why not?)

6). Right now I have a 4.5 year old Dell Inspiron 9300. Meets all of my requirements just fine. I have had no problems with this model until just recently. Foxfire has been crashing a lot lately, but that's not DELL's fault.

So. . .Geeks of the Catholic blogosphere: what say YOU!?

UPDATE: I'm reading every comment and taking notes! Keep 'em comin'. . .