Thursday, November 27, 2008

"dies ad gallipavonem edendum spectandumque pedifollem consecratur"

"A day dedicated to eating turkey and watching football,"

as Chris Jones has aptly called it.

I considered writing a more meaningful post, something with sentimental value along the lines of a reflection on all the things for which I am thankful, but this was vetoed in favor of these other two pastimes. I am only now beginning to catch up from two weeks in England and Ireland, and would rather spend my time appreciating friends, family, football, and food; there is little better in the world than all four combined.

Happy Thanksgiving to all!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

per Britanniam peregrinans

Wandering through Europe.

I will be accompanying Brett and Abe on a two week journey through England and Ireland. While an inspired moment may lead to a a blog entry from across the pond, I think it unwise to hold your breath waiting.

Until the 25th, salvete!

Monday, November 10, 2008

commemoratio meditationum

A remembrance of Meditations.

Dana writes at The Edge of the American West:

On this night in 1619, after a night in which he swears he was not carousing, René Descartes went to bed in an overheated, stuffy room in Ulm, and had three vivid dreams to which he later attributed the eventual course of his life.

In the first dream, a strong wind battered Descartes, and he sought shelter in the church of a college, only to be pushed back by the winds. After the winds abated he found himself surrounded by upright people, while he himself tottered along, leaning to the left. In the second dream, he perceived a loud thunderclap and saw the room filled with sparks of light. This apparently was a recurring dream for Descartes, so he meditated on logic until he fell asleep. (It’s like counting sheep, but for intellectuals.)

In the third dream, Descartes felt no terror, but instead came upon a book of verse, the first line of which read “Quod vitae sectabor iter?” and another poem, presented to him by an unknown man, with the first line “Est et non.” Which way of life shall I choose? It is and it is not.

It’s no tolle lege, but it’s surely proof that the universe has a sense of humor, having man who would be identified with rationalism and whose books and teachings would be periodically banned, get his inspiration from a dream about a church...

One can read Descartes' Meditations in the original Latin here (You can also read it in English, if you must).

Monday, November 3, 2008

quare semper haec "ova" scribis?

Why are you always writing these "eggs?"

The reign of idiocracy looms ever nearer. Chris Jones is affronted by this article, and rightfully so:
Imputing another’s motives based merely on personal feelings is solipsism–look it up if you don’t know what it means. And then there’s this brilliant insight:
A Campaign spokesman said the ban might stop people confusing the Latin abbreviation e.g. with the word “egg."
Really? While many readers might not know the letters stand for exempli gratia, I’ve heard more than a few who think it means “example given"–a workable definition–and not a single one who ever though it meant “egg".
My reaction is the same. Against such concessions to utter stupidity, we must come together and take a stand.