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The Universal Doctor

Albertus Magnus, Doctor Universalis

Today, the 15th of November, is the feast day of St. Albertus Magnus, teacher of Thomas Aquinas, known in his day as the Universal Doctor for his range of writings, beatified in the 17th century and, in 1931, canonised and declared patron saint of SCIENCE! He is credited with the discovery of arsenic, making him the first known discoverer of a chemical element; although so great was his reputation that many mediaeval alchemical texts were falsely attributed to him in the hope of attracting a larger audience.

I wished to mark the day by posting by posting a slightly frivolous hymn about doing SCIENCE! that I wrote a while back, but, alas! I cannot afford decent recording equipment. Until I can acquire some, here’s a provisional version recorded using a webcam.

St. Albertus Magnus, ora pro nobis! And especially for me, as I need to get cracking on some science-related programming tasks today; I am easily distracted, and it is not to the glory of God if I fail to perform my appointed tasks through lack of focus.

Blue Alert

For Maclin, and any other Leonard Cohen fans out there: if you haven’t checked his collaborator Anjani Thomas’ “Blue Alert” album, you should: the words are Cohen’s (polished a bit by her – I think they were mostly unpublished fragments), but the voice and musical style are her own, and very different. Here’s the title track, on a good old-school Cohen theme: love as warzone:

For contrast, an oldie from the man himself, on the same theme:

(Listening to that song always makes me want to be listed with the enemies of love. Not because of disagreement with its take on love and passion – although I do dissent from it – but more because I just like that line.)

Special Occasion

the kraken parties

Happy birthday, Nick!

Ready to Rumble

"may the Force be with you" - "and also with you"

From here, via Caelum et Terra, who comments “I’m glad they’re on our side.” Jedi or Sith, that’s the question – blue lightsabers are more associated with Jedi, but the current successor of St. Peter does look an awful lot like the Emperor Palpatine…

The State of Things

There has been a dearth of posts for a week or more, alas; mostly because I moved country and found myself with less internet access (in my free time; I’m actually writing this at work, bad godescalc, bad!) and also many things to do. I now reside in an old eastern european town, marred by the hideous, modern (for their day) concrete monstrosities beloved of Communism, and am trying to learn a language that appears to have been invented in Morder by an especially sadistic Nazg├╗l. There are also upsides, like cheap beer (a euro per pint!), and beautiful scenery, when one isn’t gazing at concrete, and pretty girls, although conversation with them is obstructed by formidable language barriers. All in all, an adventure (which is but an inconvenience rightly considered, quoth Chesterton); I thank God for the opportunity to come here.

While I work on art for new posts, and also on magnetic response properties of molecules in a 4-component relativistic framework (I may go into more detail when I understand what I’m doing myself, but I don’t yet), here’s an old favourite: an obscure Australian (I think?) Christian heavy metal band called Detritus, who released 2 albums in the 90’s before vanishing from the face of the earth. My mother liked this song a lot, which may not reflect well on their credibility for being truly metal, but ehhh, who cares.

Harry Potter silliness

A silly idea I picked up via Brian and illustrated…

EDIT: alas, it seems that this has not only been done before, but the joke is actually a quote from something (rather than a free-floating idea percolating through the internets) – the “How it should have ended” treatment of Harry Potter, which did it better:

For more similar silliness from the same peeps, go to the How It Should Have Ended site – lots of great stuff, possibly the most glorious of which is their take on the Terminator films – it would be wonderful if someone could actually make this:

Push it

This is the sound that keeps me awake
my head explodes and my body aches
PUSH IT

Garbage, “Push It”: a very bizarre and incomprehensible video, although if you go to the youtube page and look through the comments far enough there’s various interesting theories as to what it all means.