Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The Crow and the Pitcher

More awesome animals!

First, Aesop's Fable:

A Crow, half-dead with thirst, came upon a Pitcher which had once been full of water; but when the Crow put its beak into the mouth of the Pitcher he found that only very little water was left in it, and that he could not reach far enough down to get at it. He tried, and he tried, but at last had to give up in despair. Then a thought came to him, and he took a pebble and dropped it into the Pitcher. Then he took another pebble and dropped it into the Pitcher. Then he took another pebble and dropped that into the Pitcher. Then he took another pebble and dropped that into
the Pitcher. Then he took another pebble and dropped that into the Pitcher. Then he took another pebble and dropped that into the Pitcher. At last, at last, he saw the water mount up near him, and after casting in a few more pebbles he was able to quench his thirst and save his life.

Little by little does the trick


Next, modern science:

How cool is that?

Monday, December 21, 2009

More legs = More brains?

No, not a post about beautiful, intelligent, leggy blondes.

The octopus with the coconut is all over the internet lately, but I'm amazed by him and I think it's so cool!

The best part, I think, is that the coconut halves they're using are man-made refuse, and so haven't always been around. Doesn't that mean that this is less evolutionary than just octopuses who are smart enough to know shelter when they see it?

Regardless, I love it!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Seven Quick Takes Friday Part XXX

1. It's been a while since I've done this, or much of anything on this blog, really. Maybe participating in Quick Takes will get me used to this again. I've gotten out of that state of mind where things happen, or I do something, and immediately analyze whether or not it would make good blog fodder. I'm not sure if that's a good thing or a bad thing.

2. Since last we spoke, I got a Mac. It's been several months, and I'm not yet a Mac apologist. In fact, I find this computer much more frustrating, much harder to understand, and much more likely to cause a problem when I have a paper due than I ever found any of my Dells. Why didn't anyone ever tell me Macs are unreliable and they suck and PCs are all-around better?

3. I still got almost a month of freedom until I have to go back to work and class and dying a slow death. I'd love some suggestions for good books to read in the interim!

4. I fairly seriously considered the idea of replacing Christmas gift-giving with donating to a charity in the recipient's name. I'm ashamed to say, this was more due to having NO idea what to buy certain people than to any true altruism. I'm still stuck for ideas, and still reluctant to "take the easy way out." More than being reluctant to betray my ideals or some such, though, I'm really just afraid of making it obvious which people were my "problem" people. I'm a ball of selfish contradictions grasping at charity to make myself feel like a good person.

5. Does anyone have any experience using Apple Cider Vinegar to get rid of warts? I've heard good things on the internet, but been reluctant to try it. I'm looking at a full bottle of vinegar, though, and wondering if it would be worth it.

6. Speaking of which, plantars warts + martial arts = embarrassment. I mean, I can't hide them, since we're barefoot and I have to tape over them to prevent spreading them to others, but I didn't realize just how much I'd have to talk about them, and with just how many people. I can't count the number of times I've been asked what's wrong with my foot. Am I hurt? Do I need help? Oh, no, it's just warts. Just warts. Thus, my comfort level discussing them here, with you.

7. As I write, I'm uploading my cd collection to my new computer. It becomes strikingly apparent that I stopped actively acquiring music in the 10th grade.

Check out more Quick Takes at Conversion Diary!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

OED on the new translation of the Mass

With all the controversy over the new translation of the Mass, something's been bothering me for a while. I have a confession to make. . . I don't actually know the definition of ineffable. Ineffable is THE example to use when you're talking about the new translation, whether you're saying "Why would we want to use a word like ineffable during the Mass?" or "Why do these critics think we're so stupid we don't know what ineffable means?" And I do kind of know what ineffable means. . . but I couldn't define it for you.

So I finally - after all these many months - decided to learn just exactly what ineffable means. And I figured I might as well learn the meanings of all those other words that are coming to a church near you. So I went to the America article "What if we said 'Wait'?" by Fr. Michael G. Ryan that appeared last week, to great consternation, among those excited by the change. I picked out the words he offered as among the most troublesome.
When the uninformed heard a few examples (“and with your spirit”; “consubstantial with the Father”; “incarnate of the Virgin Mary”; “oblation of our service”; “send down your Spirit like the dewfall”; “He took the precious chalice”; “serene and kindly countenance,” for starters), the reaction was somewhere between disbelief and indignation.
And I looked them up. The full Oxford English Dictionary isn't available for free online, but the Compact Oxford English Dictionary is, and its 145,000 words, phrases, and definitions should suit for our purposes. (In shame, I admit I have no idea where my dictionary is.)

ineffable -adjective 1 too great or extreme to be expressed in words. 2 too sacred to be uttered.

incarnate -adjective, often after a noun 1 (of a deity or spirit) embodied in flesh; in human form. 2 represented in the ultimate or most typical form: capitalism incarnate.
-verb 1 embody or represent (a deity or spirit) in human form. 2 be the living embodiment of (a quality).

oblation -noun 1 a thing presented or offered to a god 2 (Christian Church) the presentation of bread and wine to God in the Eucharist

countenance -noun 1 a person's face or facial expression 2 (formal) support or approval
-verb 1 admit as acceptable or possible

And admittedly, consubstantial wasn't in there. But it was in the Yahoo! Education Reference section's dictionary, via the American Heritage Dictionary:

consubstantial -adjective 1 of the same substance, nature, or essence.

That was easy!

As for and with your spirit, I said it just this weekend, when I was at a Lessons and Carols service at an Anglican Church. Actually, I even said, "And with thy spirit," which wasn't normal for them - they only use that phraseology on special occasions, according to my boyfriend, whose alma mater we were visiting. I survived.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Stick a fork in me. . .


(One whole month of freedom! I might even, like, start blogging again. No promises.)