Friday, March 31, 2006

Carroll set free, interpreter still dead.

After being released by her captors, 28-year-old freelance journalist Jill Carroll said the kidnappers "never threatened me in any way" and that she was "treated very well".

Her interpreter at the time of the kidnapping, Allan Enwiyah, a 32-year-old Christian Iraqi, was not available for comment.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

You know you're a lapped Catholic...

when you use a mental image of a cardinal holding a 9mm pistol to help you remember what a biretta is and a mental image of the pope driving a Chevy muscle car to help you remember what a camauro is.

Not all of us can be Catholic Nerds, but we can aspire!

HT to Julie D. for the link.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Virtual Crucifixion

I find this amusing and I predict that the marketers of this game are hoping for some high profile Controversy Marketing. I know it's the kind of news item the local news likes to broadcast. They just need somebody to rail against it on camera and it's an instant story.

Britain will witness its first crucifixion for almost two millennia later this week, when Cynewulf is nailed to a cross as punishment for ganking other players as they first appear. Cynewulf, (in real life a 27 year-old electrical engineer from Flint, Michigan, USA) has no need to worry about suffering any permanent pain to his hands or feet, however, as this barbaric sentence is due to be carried out in cyberspace; in the virtual world of Roma Victor®

Roma Victor is an online recreation of Britain in Roman times, where players live virtual lives as slaves and citizens of that all-conquering Empire.

“Roma Victor has been designed from the outset to offer an historically authentic and realistic virtual world. Although crucifixion is nowadays synonymous with persecution and religious symbolism, in 180CE it was just one of many severe punishments used by the Romans to punish criminals and to send a clear message out to other potential wrong-doers. And since our online world is historically authentic, we feel that applying this punishment to cheats, hackers and other virtual wrongdoers is not only appropriate, but also adds to the gaming experience by resonating with classical history.”

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

I think that I shall never be...

You Should Be A Poet

You craft words well, in creative and unexpected ways.
And you have a great talent for evoking beautiful imagery...
Or describing the most intense heartbreak ever.
You're already naturally a poet, even if you've never written a poem.


Maybe if I write Prose Poetry and Visual Poetry.

HT to The Happy Catholic

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Litigation Marketing

From a Times Online article entitled "Authors were told: don't be fools":

When Holy Blood Holy Grail was first published in 1982, it became a best-seller itself. Now, with the current trial achieving widespread publicity, sales have enjoyed a late boost and are now thought to be over two million. Dan Brown, who finished his stint in the witness box yesterday, has also enjoyed increased sales.

The question is, would they be fools for bringing the legal action and losing the case or fools for not bringing the legal action and losing out on the chance for all the free publicity and increased sales?

My cynical guess is that it's a finely tuned marketing ploy pulled off by both sides. Nothing like knowing how to manipulate the media for fun and profit.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Laurel resting and revisionism

I found this on Slashdot and it piqued my interest since I just got finished reading this book this weekend.

The Slashdot post tells of a website that shows 1001 Inventions of Islam and a news article that picks out the top 20. The comments on the Slashdot post are very informative. Below is an excerpt:

From TFA: By the 9th century, many Muslim scholars took it for granted that the Earth was a sphere. The proof, said astronomer Ibn Hazm, "is that the Sun is always vertical to a particular spot on Earth". It was 500 years before that realisation dawned on Galileo.

The fact that the Earth was round (contrary to popular belief) was not big news in the 9th century. The ancient Greeks knew very well that the Earth was a sphere, and they too had calculated the circumference with surprising accuracy several centuries B.C. (not to mention before Mohammed). Also Galileo wasn't controversial because he claimed the Earth was round - it was because he claimed that the Earth revolved around the sun, and not vice versa. Sigh.

Another comment includes a link to an interesting letter written in response to a speech given by Carly Fiorina, CEO of Hewlett Packard Corporation, on September 26, 2001.

Makes me think the 1001 Inventions is more about PRopaganda and historical revisionism than anything else. The problem is that many who look at the site and read the news article will take it at face value and not be concerned at all about it's lack of historical accuracy. That's another recurring theme I've seen lately and makes me more motivated to catch up on what I don't know about history.

Friday, March 10, 2006

H2OMG

H2Om, is

a crystal clear natural spring water brand infused with the power of intention through words, music and thought. We gratefully offer you an interactive invitation to drink in and resonate with the vibrational frequencies of Love and Perfect Health

This product is not designed to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. However, we do believe in the power of intention, and that anything is possible. Please email us with your H2Om water experiences and miracles.


Where to start with this? Which angle to take? There are so many...

It's all about faith - The makers have faith that P.T. Barnum was right.

It's New Age holy water - All the benefits without the pesky belief system?

Marketing is everything - And they said my packets of Dehydrated Spring Water wouldn't sell!

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Quote of the Week

I don't have a quote book like Julie D but I do like my quotes. I've just found a new source to add to my other sources so I might as well start passing on my favorites. Here's the first:

"Culture is a sham if it is only a sort of Gothic front put on an iron building -- like Tower Bridge -- or a classical front put on a steel frame -- like the Daily Telegraph building in Fleet Street. Culture, if it is to be a real thing and a holy thing, must be the product of what we actually do for a living -- not something added, like sugar on a pill."

Arthur Eric Rowton Gill (February 22, 1882 November 17, 1940) was a British sculptor, typographer and engraver. And apparently a Catholic. I've got to find out more about this guy.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

I'm pro-Amateur, and I vote!

Amateur Catholic B-Team Member

Der Tommisar says I'm in but I won't believe it until I see my application email on the Amateur Catholic blog.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Freedom From...

Freedom of Religion Small Poster

"Religious liberty might be supposed to mean that everybody is free to discuss religion. In practice it means that hardly anybody is allowed to mention it." ~ G.K. Chesterton

Thursday, March 02, 2006

The Ashes of Wednesday

A rememberance of Ash Wednesdays of childhood from a site about visual poetry that I frequent. I especially like the visual of the ash crosses as plus signs adding us all together like one big math operation with the sum being "one holy, catholic and apostolic Church".