Archive for December 2012

Pope for a Day

On the calendar of the Catholic Church, today is the feast of  Pope Silvester I, who reigned from 314 to 335.  21 years, 11 months, and 1 day: 8005 days in all. His papacy is  #8 on the list of the longest in history. Little is known about Silvester I.  He built a few notable churches in the city of  Rome,... Read more »

The Exclamation Point: The Rhetorical Primal Scream

Don’t let your nose get out of joint About the exclamation point. It amplifies at sentence end The raw emotion we intend: My wife ran off with my best friend. My wife ran off with my best friend!

Whatever Works, Whatever

   Language News: The Marist College Institute has named “whatever” the most annoying word for the 4th year in a row.  It’s so annoying when they say “Whatever” in reply, Or use it as a substitute For “See ya” or “Good-bye”. They need to find some other word, One fresher and more clever. A word,... Read more »

Charlie Brown and the Will to Believe

Are you wishy-washy? Is Charlie Brown your posterboy? Well, it may be a revelation to you—as in the Book of Revelations 3:14-22—but if you’re neither hot nor cold,  you’re a wretch. That is, you make God retch. In Dante’s Divine Comedy, the good news is that you’re not  in Hell, but you don’t qualify for... Read more »

Michael Jordan's Dirty Secret

Celebrity News: The Chicago Tribune Arts and Entertainment section says Michael Jordan never dances. M.J.’s done A lot of things Besides winning Six championship rings. He wears the best Designer clothes, And often golfs With Master pros. He’s what is called An entrepreneur Whose lamborghini Engines purr. A bon vivant, A fashion plate, Who rubs... Read more »

Notre Dame, Win One for the "Big Happy"

Dean Brown was a 330-pound starting offensive tackle on Notre Dame’s last national championship team. He like all of us in Irish nation was eager to see Notre Dame reach that pinnacle again. He  died suddenly on November 29. One teammate remembered him as someone who made the world around him smile. In this morning’s  Tribune... Read more »

Shopping with Big Brother

Marketing News: “An Italian mannequin manufacturer called Almax has designed a mannequin equipped with surveillance cameras behind the life size dolls’ eyes. These sneaky marketing schemes are already being used by retailers in the U.S. as well as three European countries.” That mannequin in stylish clothes With eyes that do not blink. Who’s standing... Read more »

Being Queen Elizabeth: No Sweat!

Note: In her book, “Dressing the Queen: The Jubilee Wardrobe”,  Angela Kelly, the personal assistant and dresser to the queen, says Queen Elizabeth simply doesn’t sweat. Ever since her coronation, Queen Elizabeth the Second Has been immune to perspiration, Her dress designer’s reckoned. No matter what the temperature, Whatever  the occasion, No matter if she’s decked... Read more »

Can You ID the Yuletide Carols Being Sung by a Choir?

(The following Yuletide quiz is based on the wonderful book “The Carols of Christmas” by David McLaughlan.) Match the clue with the name of the carol.  1. According to tradition, the  lyrics to this carol were written by”watchmen, paid extra by the local burghers to guard the town over the Christmas period”. 2. Sometimes called... Read more »

Dennis Byrne's "Madness: The War of 1812" Is Historical Fiction at Its Best

In case you haven’t picked up a copy of Dennis Byrne’s novel, “Madness: The War of 1812”, I strongly recommend that you do. It would make one wonderful Christmas gift. It’s a ripsnorting yarn. A saga of war and love. A coming of age tale. It’s focus is on a war about which most Americans know very... Read more »