Saturday, May 25, 2013

Transcriptions and translations

Last year a librarian in the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek discovered previously unknown homilies by Origen of Alexandria. Alex Poulos, a student at the Catholic University of America, offers transcriptions and translations of some of the new materials.

We must be told

Why is Stephen Merchant now doing advertising for Westpac's small business services? Does Ricky Gervais know?

Friday, May 24, 2013

The Attack on Kirribilli

On 26th January 2013 the peaceful Sydney suburb of Kirribilli was assaulted by land, sea and air.  This resulted in no loss of life for the defenders and no change to their system of government. The assault was no doubt commanded by the military dictator of New South Wales.* In other news the government of Queensland put tanks into the streets of Brisbane, doubtless to quell unrest, as part of the imposition of martial law.

*Actually Professor Marie Bashir is a lovely lady, it is just that the photo of her in military uniform is irresistible.

Monday, May 20, 2013

A few years ago this would have been about text messages (or: Another Reason to steer clear of Facebook)

Oh yes please. I would like the "comedians" on the misnamed Footy Show* to remove a photograph of my child from the internet to make fun of it by comparing it to some cabbage eared loon. Sign me up to Facebook AT ONCE!

Yes I know it's David Knox – who has never expressed a non-standard opinion on anything – but any stick will do with which to beat the Farcebook. If you prefer, here is The Australian.

*Given the Australian predilection for Rugby League and AFL (q.v.) it should be The Handy Show.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Beer and sausages

Here in Australia, for some crazy reason, if you look for sausages you can easily find something containing a dead cow. No, my dears, those are beef sausages. Sausages have to contain pork.

That is something this bloke clearly understood.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

The end of the Middle Ages (again)

The last Beguine, Marcella Pattyn, has recently died. This being the Economist there is the usual oogedy-boogedy about the Middle Ages, sexism, heretic burnign and so on, but it is an interesting article all the same.
These places were not convents, but beguinages, and the women in them were not nuns, but Beguines. In these communities, which sprang up spontaneously in and around the cities of the Low Countries from the early 13th century, women led lives of prayer, chastity and service, but were not bound by vows. They could leave; they made their own rules, without male guidance; they were encouraged to study and read, and they were expected to earn their keep by working, especially in the booming cloth trade. They existed somewhere between the world and the cloister, in a state of autonomy which was highly unusual for medieval women and highly disturbing to medieval men.
Rest in peace.

UPDATE: Obituary from The Daily Telegraph (UK).