Praise the Lord and pass the salt

The high-fructose corn syrup scare is so passe, Zoe — the new terror lurking in our foods is salt. One New York assemblyman has already taken steps to fight this insidious additive by proposing a ban on the substance in New York restaurants, with a corresponding fine of $1,000 per salty infraction. My favorite curmudgeonly … Read more

Big Families Are Boring

Apparently there’s a TV new show about a big family.  The Slate reviewer wasn’t thrilled:  [T]hey have everything you have, only bigger, better, and cooler. If you shelled out for one hipster pageboy cap, Bob has two, in wool and velour, plus a straw fedora and a ski cap he wears indoors. If your wife is … Read more

In Praise of Neal McDonough

Neal McDonough is one of those actors who has appeared in so many movies and TV shows that his face is almost immediately recognizable to anyone that has watched their fair share of either in the past 10 years. Check out this Minority Report still, for example. He’s not Tom Cruise. And he’s not Colin Farrell. But I … Read more

‘Life’ Goes On

It’s raining here in Baltimore today, and the mood on the Web is similarly bleak, so I thought we could all use a little reprieve from the doom and gloom — hence, the awesomeness in the trailer below for the Discovery Channel’s Life series. I managed to catch the premiere on TV last night, and … Read more

Will the Government Take Over the Internet?

How many times have you been on an important cell-phone call, and suddenly the call is dropped? Whether you pay for service from Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, or any other service provider, dead zones are unhappy facts of daily life. For the past few years, phone companies have been encouraged to invest in expanding infrastructure — … Read more

The Domincan Sisters Light Up Oprah’s Show

Brenda Steele watched the Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist on The Oprah Show today.  Her comments published at Catholic Advocate, I am sure, echo what all of us who were able to watch the show were thinking.  Here Brenda hits the nail right on the head:  It would have been impossible for … Read more

VIDEO: A crash course in TV journalism

This is absolutely fantastic: BBC journalist and humorist Charlie Brooker pulls back the curtain on television journalism, revealing the pattern all network reporters follow in their own recorded segments. Have a look and you’ll never watch a news broadcast the same way again. (There is a small bit of profanity.)  

Parents, get your kids away from the TV…

It’s just not the Super Bowl without controversial advertising! But this year’s most talked-about ad is coming from an unlikely source:  A national coalition of women’s groups called on CBS on Monday to scrap its plan to broadcast an ad during the Super Bowl featuring college football star Tim Tebow and his mother, which critics say is … Read more

A Counterintuitive Speech Survey

This TimesOnline (UK) story — detailing a recently-completed parent survey on the ages at which their children learned to speak — caught my attention for several reasons. Firstly, because the “raw numbers” themselves are quite interesting — 3 seems disconcertingly late for speech to me, though that was a relatively small percentage of responders. And the gender splits … Read more

‘Tis the Season for Temperance

As the season of “holiday parties” comes upon us, it’s probably time to give another thought to Gluttony and Temperance — since we’re each likely to struggle over the next few weeks with many, many temptations. Gluttony is (pun intended) a protean phenomenon, and it’s hard to choose a single exemplar of Temperance. For one … Read more

Heaven Can Wait

There’s a terrific moment in the TV show House, in which the irascible and brilliant Dr. Greg House is explaining to a lapsed Catholic subordinate why he doesn’t believe in the afterlife. House, with all the self-lacerating irony that actor Hugh Laurie can impart to the character, says, “I would hate to think that all … Read more

And Forgive Us Our Trespasses

When asked why he had become a Catholic, G. K. Chesterton famously replied, “To get rid of my sins.” The forgiveness of sins is the awesome gift that Christ offers us, a gift so beautiful that words can scarcely express the glory of it. One of the most lovely things you can possibly experience is … Read more

Blessed Are Those Who Hunger and Thirst for Righteousness

“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied” (Mt 5:6).   The goods of this world, though they remain good, can be deceptive when you are a member of a fallen race. In certain moods of rude good health and the flush of adolescent insolence, it is all too … Read more

Blessed Are Those Who Mourn

I remember it like yesterday. The insistent kitchen phone was ringing on the other side of the wall as I woke. I had gone to bed exhausted with sorrow and fear the night before, having returned from the hospital where my dad lay, snoring loudly in the depths of a coma. Just as my eyes … Read more

Forbidden Fruit — and Sponges

A few years ago, my son Ambrose was hospitalized with a lung infection. The two weeks he spent away from home were trying times for our family, but I have one particularly fond memory of his stay. One day, when I returned to his hospital room after being away for a few hours, he made … Read more

My Non-Binding Resolutions for the New Year

I’m not a libertarian, but I play one on the PC. As I’ve written before (blatant plugs for other rants I’ve written on this subject follow here and here), there’s nothing wrong with the State using its power to foster the Common Good, when the dignity of individuals is respected and the Common Good is … Read more

Chris Matthews on Metaphysics

In my old age I have developed some new vices, the two worst being my bad habit of playing solitaire on my computer and my even worse habit of watching and listening to talking heads on cable TV, like Chris Matthews. Matthews is not the worst of them, and sometimes he’s pretty good. When watching … Read more

The Gold

  I do not own a television set, I do not like the cynicism of the Olympic organization, and I’m put off by propaganda spectacles in totalitarian countries. From this, the gentle reader may infer my opinion of the Olympic Games in Beijing. Add to this the fact I am Canadian — we don’t win … Read more

A Firefly Named ‘Serenity’

There was a lot of buzz on the Internet recently about rumors of a possible sequel to the 2005 film Serenity. The news even made it to the Catholic world: I blogged on it, as did Mark Shea and even Fr. John Zuhlsdorf. That a mere rumor could kick up such a stir — the … Read more

Disgust Is Not Enough

Here’s something you don’t read every day. The Middle East Media Research Institute reports the following: Media Uproar Following Egyptian Mufti’s Fatwa on Companions of the Prophet Muhammad Being Blessed by Drinking His Urine An uproar in the Egyptian media followed the recent publication of a book by Egyptian Mufti Dr. Ali Gum’a in which … Read more

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