LENTCAzT 17: Friday of the 2nd Week of Lent

LENTCAzT15Today is Friday of the 2nd Week of Lent.


How long has it been?

Here is another 5 minute daily podcast for Lent.  They are intended to give you a small boost every day, a little encouragement in your own use of this holy season.


I am providing these again this year especially in gratitude to benefactors who help me and this blog.

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Not exactly Crispy Skin Chicken…

… or Beijing Kao Ya.

From Breitbart:


Supporters of renewable energies hope that new advances in solar technology will figuratively set the world on fire, but for hundreds of birds in Nevada last month, that scenario became a literal reality. Nearly 130 birds were set alight mid-flight during tests for the new 110 megawatt solar array plant in Tonopah, Nevada. (h/t Watts Up With That)

The Crescent Dunes Solar Energy Project uses 17,500 heliostat mirrors, each the size of a garage door, to direct sunlight to a central tower rising 1,200 feet above ground level. The combined energy is transferred to molten salt held in the tower, which is circulated and produces steam to generate electricity. Excess heat is stored in the salt, allowing electricity to be generated for up to ten hours without sunlight.


On January 14th, about a third of the plant was brought online for testing. Unfortunately, about two hours into the test biologists and engineers on site began to notice “streamers” – trails of smoke and steam caused by birds flying into the field of solar radiation. Any moisture on the birds was instantly vapourised, whilst some of the birds themselves burst into flames even as they flapped away. Nearly 130 birds were killed or injured during the test.


Federal wildlife officials have begun referring to the solar arrays as “mega traps” for wildlife, despite protestations by Ivanpah officials that the streamers are floating rubbish or insects straying within the field. But biologists believe the streamers are caused by a chain of reaction, as insects attracted by the tower’s bright light in turn attract bird species. [It’s the ciiiiircle of liiiiiife…..]


There must be an appropriate Daffy Duck image for this.


15 votes, 3.67 avg. rating (74% score)
Posted in Lighter fare, Look! Up in the sky! | Tagged | 32 Comments

LENTCAzT 16: Thursday of the 2nd Week of Lent

LENTCAzT15Today is Thursday of the 2nd Week of Lent.


How long has it been?

Here is another 5 minute daily podcast for Lent.  They are intended to give you a small boost every day, a little encouragement in your own use of this holy season.


I am providing these again this year especially in gratitude to benefactors who help me and this blog.

7 votes, 3.86 avg. rating (78% score)
Posted in LENTCAzT, Liturgy Science Theatre 3000, PODCAzT | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

Veyron’s successor?

I believe you know that I am still in mourning over the production of the last Bugatti Veyron. HERE

However, one of you alert readers sent me a piece from Car and Driver about the next Bugatti project. HERE



Bugatti decided that the Chiron should carry over the Veyron’s 8.0-liter W-16 engine, adding direct injection and electric assistance for at least two of its four turbos to bring output to an estimated 1500 horsepower and 1100 lb-ft of torque. The transmission will be a seven-speed dual-clutch and, like the Veyron, it will distribute its power through an all-wheel-drive system, this time with torque vectoring. Zero to 62 mph should take less than 2.5 seconds, allegedly. We reported earlier this year that the Veyron’s successor might be a hybrid in the vein of the Ferrari LaFerrari and Porsche 918, but this report mentions nothing of the sort.

The Chiron’s “unconfirmed” top speed, according to the report, would be 288 mph thanks in part to active air deflectors, while the rear spoiler will help the carbon-ceramic brakes bring the car to a halt, just like its predecessor.

A Greek chiton is, by the way, a garment, a loosely fitting tunic like affair held at the shoulders with pins.  You see lots of this in ancient statuary.  And, if memory serves, it’s a kind of shell. UPDATE:  Okay, fine. CHIRON. I read it wrong.  And I posted this from an airplane….

12 votes, 2.83 avg. rating (58% score)
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4 March 1865: Lincoln’s 2nd Inaugural Address

A friend dropped a note to me:

Today is the 150th Anniversary of Lincoln’s Second Inaugural Address!  I just reread it.  I think it’s the finest writing (so far) in American English.  Perhaps it’s worthy of a blog post?

I seem to recall hearing somewhere that Lincoln spent the July 4th before his reelection hosting a picnic on the White House grounds to raise funds to build a Catholic Church for African-Americans in Anacostia.  Interesting tidbit.

Keep in mind that, once upon a time, inaugurations took place on 4 March.   This was changed in the 20th century to 20 January.

Why March? I suppose before the advent of modern transportation they needed a little more time to get things organized.  Also, I believe the ancient Roman civil year began in March.  Try reading it aloud, to find out something what what a president who is a word-smith might say… just as an exercise in contrast if for no other motive:


At this second appearing to take the oath of the Presidential office there is less occasion for an extended address than there was at the first. Then a statement somewhat in detail of a course to be pursued seemed fitting and proper. Now, at the expiration of four years, during which public declarations have been constantly called forth on every point and phase of the great contest which still absorbs the attention and engrosses the energies of the nation, little that is new could be presented. The progress of our arms, upon which all else chiefly depends, is as well known to the public as to myself, and it is, I trust, reasonably satisfactory and encouraging to all. With high hope for the future, no prediction in regard to it is ventured.

On the occasion corresponding to this four years ago all thoughts were anxiously directed to an impending civil war. All dreaded it, all sought to avert it. While the inaugural address was being delivered from this place, devoted altogether to saving the Union without war, insurgent agents were in the city seeking to destroy it without war—seeking to dissolve the Union and divide effects by negotiation. Both parties deprecated war, but one of them would make war rather than let the nation survive, and the other would accept war rather than let it perish, and the war came.

One-eighth of the whole population were colored slaves, not distributed generally over the Union, but localized in the southern part of it. These slaves constituted a peculiar and powerful interest. All knew that this interest was somehow the cause of the war. To strengthen, perpetuate, and extend this interest was the object for which the insurgents would rend the Union even by war, while the Government claimed no right to do more than to restrict the territorial enlargement of it. Neither party expected for the war the magnitude or the duration which it has already attained. Neither anticipated that the cause of the conflict might cease with or even before the conflict itself should cease. Each looked for an easier triumph, and a result less fundamental and astounding. Both read the same Bible and pray to the same God, and each invokes His aid against the other. It may seem strange that any men should dare to ask a just God’s assistance in wringing their bread from the sweat of other men’s faces, but let us judge not, that we be not judged. The prayers of both could not be answered. That of neither has been answered fully. The Almighty has His own purposes. “Woe unto the world because of offenses; for it must needs be that offenses come, but woe to that man by whom the offense cometh.” If we shall suppose that American slavery is one of those offenses which, in the providence of God, must needs come, but which, having continued through His appointed time, He now wills to remove, and that He gives to both North and South this terrible war as the woe due to those by whom the offense came, shall we discern therein any departure from those divine attributes which the believers in a living God always ascribe to Him? Fondly do we hope, fervently do we pray, that this mighty scourge of war may speedily pass away. Yet, if God wills that it continue until all the wealth piled by the bondsman’s two hundred and fifty years of unrequited toil shall be sunk, and until every drop of blood drawn with the lash shall be paid by another drawn with the sword, as was said three thousand years ago, so still it must be said “the judgements of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.”

With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation’s wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations.

19 votes, 4.58 avg. rating (91% score)
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My View For Awhile: Close Call Edition

As usual, my flight is delayed.  It happens a lot at this airport.  I’ll have to dash for my connection.  Sigh.


I made it with about 5 minutes to spare.  I hope I’ll have a seat open by me.

Meanwhile, I got into the first pages of this novel, about a terrorist attack on the Mall of America in my native place.  That’s the Mall that famously protects everyone from nefarious neerdowells by posting the ‘no guns’ signs at the doors.  Those signs are sure to keep out the bad guys.  Honestly, I don’t even want to venture into a mall.

But I digress.

19 votes, 2.68 avg. rating (55% score)
Posted in On the road, What Fr. Z is up to | 13 Comments

Christ’s childhood home found?

The “historical Jesus” is only of passing interest in comparison to the Lord of Salvation.

The Daily Mail has a piece about how archaeologists, reading medieval manuscripts, have identified a likely place …

Hewn into a hillside, this is the humble stone and mortar house where a scholar believes Jesus was raised.

It has been dated to the early 1st century by a British archaeologist who says an ancient text points to the building as being the home in Nazareth where Mary and Joseph brought up the son of God.

Professor Ken Dark says De Locis Sanctis, written in 670 by Irish monk Adomnan, described the house as located between two tombs and below a church.

The text was based on a pilgrimage to Nazareth made by the Frankish bishop Arculf and tells of a church ‘where once there was the house in which the Lord was nourished in his infancy’.

In the Byzantine era, and again in the 12th century at the time of the Crusades, the ruins of the building were incorporated into churches – suggesting it was of great significance and needed to be protected, the Reading University archaeologist argues.

The house was cut into a limestone hillside and has a series of rooms and a stairway. One of the original doorways has survived, as has part of the original chalk floor.

Writing in the journal Biblical Archaeological Review, Dr Dark says that while he has no proof, there is ‘no good reason’ to believe it was not Jesus’s home.

He has been researching the ruins, in what is now northern Israel, since 2006.

The house was first identified as significant in the 1880s after the chance discovery of by nuns an ancient cistern. An excavation was ordered.

Jesuit priest Henri Senes carried out more work in 1936.

Since 2006, Dr Dark’s team has discovered broken cooking pots, a spindle whorl and limestone artefacts.

The limestone items suggest a Jewish family lived there as Jews believed that limestone could not be impure – and Mary and Joseph were living in Nazareth when the angel Gabriel revealed that Mary would give birth to the son of God, a baby to be named Jesus.

Dr Dark, a specialist in first century and Christian archaeology, argues that the house he believes was Jesus’s boyhood home matches Adomnan’s account.

It is located beneath the Sisters of Nazareth Convent, which is across the road from Church of Annunciation in Nazareth.

The Adomnan text describes two churches in Nazareth, one of which was the Church of Annunciation.

Dr Dark writes: ‘The other stood nearby and was built near a vault that also contained a spring and the remains of two tombs.’

The Sisters of Nazareth Convent matches this because there is evidence of a large Byzantine church with a spring and two tombs in its crypt, he says.

Dr Dark writes: ‘Great efforts had been made to encompass the remains of this building. Both the tombs and the house were decorated with mosaics in the Byzantine period, suggesting that they were of special importance, and possibly venerated.

‘Was this the house where Jesus grew up? It is impossible to say on archaeological grounds.

‘On the other hand, there is no good archaeological reason why such an identification should be discounted.’

In 2009 archaeologists from the Israel Antiquities Authority found another 1st century home nearby they believed had been occupied by a Jewish family. However they were able to say only that Jesus may have lived near the site.

Go look at that page.  There are lots of photos.

20 votes, 4.00 avg. rating (80% score)
Posted in SESSIUNCULA | Tagged , | 17 Comments

LENTCAzT 15: Wednesday of the 2nd Week of Lent

LENTCAzT15Today is Wednesday of the 2nd Week of Lent.


How long has it been?

Here is another 5 minute daily podcast for Lent.  They are intended to give you a small boost every day, a little encouragement in your own use of this holy season.


I am providing these again this year especially in gratitude to benefactors who help me and this blog.

14 votes, 3.57 avg. rating (72% score)
Posted in LENTCAzT, Liturgy Science Theatre 3000, PODCAzT | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

Spectacular video of Mont Saint-Michel

A New Advent I saw a wonderful video with footage taken in part via drone of Mont St Michel off the coast of France.

It says by way of introduction:

After the construction of a raised causeway in 1859, Mont Saint-Michel was permanently connected to the adjoining land. That all changed in 2013, when the construction of a bridge allowed the fortified abbey to become an island once again.

Le Mont Saint-Michel by EditionNumerique

Over there find also a description of Mont St-Michel and how it was a fortified abbey. The abbot was both religious and military commander.

Sounds like something we need again today.

35 votes, 4.63 avg. rating (92% score)
Posted in Just Too Cool, Si vis pacem para bellum!, The Coming Storm, The future and our choices | Tagged | 14 Comments

“They paved paradise and they put up a….”

Right now I am in the midst of making daily podcasts and, in them, mentioning the Roman Station church of the day.  I provide a little history of the churches.  Thus, I am daily reminded that churches can come and go.  They are built, used for a time, torn down because of damage or need for another structure.  Time marches on.  And yet we revel in our most ancient churches, don’t we?  We lament the passing of a church building.

I saw an article from my native place about the older church in the city which is, sadly, facing destruction.

The story:

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Plans for a high-rise in northeast Minneapolis took a step forward this week, but not everyone is happy. The apartment tower would go up where Nye’s Polonaise Room is located, after it closes this summer.

The Neighborhood Association approved the plans Wednesday night with overwhelming support, but the new construction could have a big impact on an old church.

The call to Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church has rang loud and clear for more than 160 years. Built in the 1850s, the historic frame is showing its age. But there’s real concern time isn’t the biggest threat.

“It’s important to us to say we’re opposed to the design of this particular project,” Deacon Thom Winninger said.

Winninger is worried about plans to build a 29 story apartment building next door once Nye’s Polonaise shuts down this summer. The close proximity to the church property is one thing, but the real worry is construction’s impact on the building’s integrity.


For the sake of… what?

10 votes, 3.80 avg. rating (76% score)
Posted in Our Catholic Identity, The Drill | Tagged , | 8 Comments