Friday, May 7, 2010

Sorry, but I just love sick humor

This is from the Groupon site. I signed up with them long ago, but have never used any of their coupons. I thought the following "Animal Moms" bit at the bottom of the page was funny:

As Mother's Day approaches, it's important to remember all the mothers in the animal kingdom. Here's what you didn't know about the mothering techniques of some animal species:

• Elephants: As soon as baby elephants hatch, their mothers hurl them into trees so they can hone climbing skills and avoid predators.

• Penguins: While it appears that mother penguins are providing their young with a pre-digested, nutrient-rich fish mash, they are actually throwing up because baby penguins are so hideous.

• Lions: Mother lions sometimes eat their young, but you wouldn't blame them if you've ever tried baby lion.

• Seahorses: Lazy seahorse moms don't do anything.

The last one cracked me up. It's true, of course. But seahorses don't eat much of anything either, be they male or female, just whatever they find floating around in the water. Sea oats or whatever. So we'll let them be lazy.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Aye, aye, Captain!

This is going on the wish list. Hat tip goes to the Ace.

I wonder if you could kill bugs with it? Like spiders going across the ceiling? But don't forget to wear those shades!

120 pounds of pure nightmare

This caught my eye over at HuffPo.

'Biggest Loser' trainer Jillian Michaels has a hard little body and she plans to keep it that way. Michaels, 36, tells Women's Health she is unwilling to become pregnant because of the way it would change her body.

"I'm going to adopt. I can't handle doing that to my body," she told the magazine. "Also, when you rescue something, it's like rescuing a part of yourself."

Something? Oh, like a kitten?

Michaels, who is now 5'2" and 120 pounds of muscle, was overweight as a teen. She said she once weighed 175 pounds but lost the extra weight with martial arts, which she has practiced for 20 years. She is currently embroiled in a lawsuit over the efficacy of her diet pills.

Does this have con-job written all over it? "I worked like hell to lose weight, but here, I'll sell you these pills."

Michaels also reveals in the interview that she dates both men and women.

"I've been in love with both," she said.


Monday, May 3, 2010

Miraculous Medals

I've been helping a friend of mine, Van Peplin, work on getting his Miraculous Medal website back up and running. What happened to him was that some people who had been hosting for him let his lease expire on his old domain name and it got snapped up by a link-farm. So although he wasn't "out of business", the flow of orders had slowed down considerably.

Fortunately we worked together to rebuild the site and have relaunched it recently. We're hoping that since we are now in Our Lady's month (May) that she will send us a few orders. As you can see on the order page, they range in price from $10 for a Brass Miraculous Medal to $600* for the 24K Gold Medal. I'm not sure there are too many places where you can buy a Miraculous Medal minted from 24K gold, so if you're in the market for something high-end, check us out.

All the Medals are really nice for several reasons. First off, they are thicker and more substantial than the el cheapo cast variety you'll find in the local gift shop. That's because these are minted in a press rather than cast, so even the brass one is high-quality. Secondly, it feels good to buy something which is made 100% in the USA. The initials "USA" are even stamped on the reverse of the medal at the bottom.

But probably my favorite thing about the medals is that Van makes each one individually right here in Cleveland, Ohio in his plant. You can read about the whole process on this page. Van even hired an artist to design an original sculpture of Our Lady for the die he made. So not only do you get a great, unique handmade product, but excellent individual attention to detail and service. Making great Miraculous Medals is as great a devotion for Van as wearing them is for other fervent Catholics.

So advise everyone who is thinking or has thought about wearing the Miraculous Medal to check out Saint Catherine's Metalworks. They were the first to sell Medals on the web back in the mid-nineties, and they are still in business making excellent products.

* - This price is no longer valid. Please call for a price.

Donohue on Pullman's "Fervid Imagination"

William Donohue from the Catholic League points out how Pullman's serious non-fiction is more interesting and fairy-tale-like than his "Dark Materials" adolescent fiction, which is thinly-veiled anti-Catholicism.

Philip Pullman's new book, The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ, is available in the U.S. on May 4; it is published by Canongate U.S. Catholic League president Bill Donohue comments on it today:

The publisher was kind enough to send me an advance copy of Pullman's new book, no doubt hoping I would give it some free publicity by hammering it. They may be disappointed: it's an interesting fable and not in the slightest degree anti-Catholic.

My beef with Pullman's trilogy, His Dark Materials, and more specifically with the movie based on the first book, "The Golden Compass," centered on the attempt to seduce young people into thinking that atheism is the answer and the Catholic Church is the problem. But this book has no hidden agenda—it's a fanciful account of the Gospel story, one that displays the author's fervid imagination. Pullman's fairy tale sees Mary giving birth to twins: Jesus, a figure who bears resemblance to the Son of God known to Christians, and Christ, a less admirable character who is preoccupied with institutionalizing his legacy.

The most important statement about the book is not its contents, rather it is the decision to write it in the first place. Why would England's most famous atheist storyteller find it necessary to repair to the Gospels to write this book? What is it about Christianity that Pullman can't live without? And why does his fascination with religion not extend to other religions? To be sure, had Pullman taken liberties with Islam, he would have been a marked man. So much easier to deal with those Christians, most of whom are very nice.

The real issue remains. Christian novelists are not known for finding material in atheistic accounts of human existence—they simply ignore them—but the contra is not true. Perhaps Pullman can write another story explaining why.

This echoes my sentiments exactly. How is this different than every cafeteria-style religionist from Ghandi to Fr. Richard McBrien with regards to Jesus and Christianity, i.e., picking what you like and discarding what you don't? Donohue's mention that he felt like maybe the publishing company was looking for some promotional wind for the sails of this book made me think of another likely irony: the Holy Name of Jesus and Christ will be the main sales engines for a tome which would otherwise be titled "Some Ideas by Phillip Pullman".

Barone on the Leftward March

Michael Barone documents the move toward the far left by the regimes in America and the UK, the resulting loss of popularity and the subsequent blaming of the voters. Short excerpt:

Both parties have moved well to the left. Barack Obama and Blair's successor, Gordon Brown, head governments that are running budget deficits of 10 percent of gross domestic product. Both are promoting higher taxes and expansion of government programs.

The financial crisis is one reason for the large deficits. But it is undeniable that to varying extents both Obama and Brown have pursued more statist policies than their predecessors did a dozen years ago.

And it is undeniable, too, that both are in trouble with the voters.

In these circumstances, it is surprising that the pundit class is not chiding Obama and Brown for abandoning the politically successful policies of Clinton and Blair. The same pundit class is always ready to chide American Republicans and British Conservatives for not pursuing the courses that Rockefeller Republicans and pre-Thatcher "wet" Conservatives pursued with some political success a much longer time ago.

I don't know if Barack Obama et al will lose journalists over their progressive agenda and government expansionism since this sutff all represents moving toward where the mainstream media has been at for decades. They are on the same page.


Blaming the voters is the last resort of a party in trouble. Old Labor and the Obama Democrats may not yet be finished. But they're not doing as well as their "third way" predecessors.

Harder and harder to make the case

I have always frowned at the radio whenever Rush Limbaugh confidently announces "There are no Pro-life Democrats." I've known some Pro-life Democrats--very sincere people. Obviously he means that there are no Pro-life Democrats in Congress, a claim at which I suppose I balk mainly due to my congenital optimism. Because it is getting harder and harder to support my opinion and ever more clear to see that once again, Rush is right. Witness the latest evidence detailed in the American Catholic blog. Excerpt:

Representative Joe Pitts (R. Pa) has introduced a new bill that bans abortion funding from ObamaCare. It largely replicates the language of the old Stupak Amendment. The bill has 57 co-sponsors and growing. Thus far these real pro-life Democrats have signed on as co-sponsors: Reps. Travis Childers of Mississippi, Lincoln Davis of Tennessee, Tim Holden of Pennsylvania, Dan Lipinski of Illinois, Jim Marshall of Georgia, Mike McIntyre of North Carolina and Gene Taylor of Mississippi. I salute each of them. Each of them voted against the final pro-abort version of ObamaCare. Bart Stupak and his “pro-life” Democrats who hid behind the fig leaf of the meaningless executive order in order to vote for ObamaCare, are of course not supporting this legislation. I think this is significant. ObamaCare passed. From the perspective of a truly pro-life Democrat who supported ObamaCare, why not amend the law now to ban abortion funding? Failure to support this legislation should finish the idea that such a Democrat in Congress is in any sense pro-life. This legislation should of course be a major voting issue for all pro-lifers in November.

Maybe since Stupak's language has been used in the bill he can sue them for plagiarism. Then he can support the bill in order to partially redeem himself.