Monday, January 23, 2006

Modern Indulgences

What goes around, comes around? It might have been a stretch to see the iPod as a modern incarnation of a Book of Hours, but Absolution Online seems to have climbed right out of a 10th century penitential. Click on your sins, rate them (A for the most extreme down to E for the most venial) and it will calculate your penance, and offer you absolution. I got 28 Hail Marys and 5 Our Fathers for my sins of sloth and delectatio morosa!

More medieval echos can be found here, where you can use (OK, I didn't actually try it!) Visa or MasterCard to purchase indulgences at a site that is mocked up to look like the Vatican's. I hope it's a joke. In any case, it reminded me of the thriving medieval relic trade, of which John Calvin reflected, if all the known relics were collected in one place "it would be made manifest that every Apostle has more than four bodies, and every Saint two or three."

Calvin's concerns were not novel, his satiric essay on relics begins by citing Augustine's oblique comment on the trade in the relics of the martyrs: "If, indeed, they are relics of martyrs."

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Jesus Christ News

In a recent article, Jesus Christ was hyperlinked. Curious, I clicked on the link to find the following text:

News about Jesus Christ, including commentary and archival articles published in The New York Times.

with a list of articles all under the title: Jesus Christ News - The New York Times. Does Jesus Christ really need a hyperlink for the average reader to identify him? And shouldn't he really have his own RSS feed?

Not having quite the same name recognition, I can get my own set of factoids, as Scrivener did. There are moments when indeed the air is superheated, and given the weather today, at times 80% of me has been covered in water!

Ten Top Trivia Tips about Michelle!

  1. Four-fifths of the surface of Michelle is covered in water.
  2. According to the story, Pinocchio was made of Michelle.
  3. The air around Michelle is superheated to about five times the temperature of the sun.
  4. More than one million stray dogs and half a million stray cats live in Michelle.
  5. Duelling is legal in Paraguay as long as both parties are Michelle!
  6. US gold coins used to say 'In Michelle we trust'.
  7. Michelle is the smallest of Jupiter's many moons!
  8. There is actually no danger in swimming right after you eat Michelle, though it may feel uncomfortable!
  9. Michelle can run sixty-five kilometres an hour - that's really fast!
  10. It is impossible to fold Michelle more than seven times!
I am interested in - do tell me about

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Re-mother, Pre-mother

My Greek chorus is in full swing again. A friend's daughter saw the rules listed on our fridge (If you open it, close it. If you use it up, throw it away. Put it in the hamper. Flush. No Greek choruses.) "What's a Greek chorus?" she wondered. I told her she knew what it was and demonstrated with her sister. They both looked at me and said, "You mean 're-mothering'!" My guys took to the term with a vengance. Now they've added "pre-mothering" to the list. To pre-mother requires a fine sense of timing, as in popping out with "Be sure to put on your socks, Barnacle Boy!" just as I take breath to remind youngest son to do so.