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Captive Dreams
Getting all medieval on your ass is..... Doc Angelic!!

h/t Mark Shea



Captive Dreams

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Feast of St. Catherine of Alexandria

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St. Catherine of Alexandria
Symbolism. The martyr's crown. The wheel on which
she was tortured. The sword by which she was beheaded.

The books and astrolabe for her erudition.
TOF's Faithful Reader may recall that the parish church in Oberhochwald/Eifelheim was the Church of St. Catherine of Alexandria, whose feast is today. She was one of the most popular saints in the Middle Ages, especially so in universities.



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A new and curious magazine/journal has come to TOF's attention; viz., Sci Phi Journal, Issue #1 of which can be found here. It is a curious mixture of science fiction and philosophy. I mean, whoever heard of that escapist stuff taking on issues of high philosophy.

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German, the Legoblock language, can construct new words from old. For example:
is a fine example, should you ever need a single word to designate the captain of a Danube steamship for a travel company. He (or she, we hasten to add) would be a Danubicsteamshiptravelcompanycaptain. Think how this would reduce the word count in your latest manuscript!

Of particular interest are the names of beasts:



Fun and Games on the Old South Side

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Haven't seen this sort of action in the neighborhood since they tore down the Delaware Terrace projects. The cops raided a house about a block away from TOF, looking for a fellow who had been dealing heroin on a nearby playground. There is an alley running behind the duplexes shown in the picture, and the playground is across that alley. In TOF's youth, that playground was actually a cornfield, improbably surrounded by houses and (on one side) by a carpet factory. Every spring the farmer would drive his tractor down from the hill and plow it up and plant corn. Eventually, a new generation of kids arose who regarded the corn as free for the taking, so he gave up and sold out and the city built a park where people could pedal heroin. The carpet factory is also gone. There is a drug store on the site.

Flynncestry: To the Shores of Amerikay

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John Thomas Flynn (c.1841-1880)
Only known likeness; water-damaged

4. John Thomas Flynn

The search for the Flynns began many years ago when TOF was yet young and not yet as close as now to being an ancestor himself. TOF was the eldest of some twenty-odd cousins, some of them very odd indeed, and had lately come into the intelligence that not only did his father, Pere, also have cousins, but so did his grandfather, Pop-pop. The Flynns and allied families, while not so numerous as the descendants promised to Abram and Sarah, would have made a respectable turnout at any rowdy party, nor made it any less so.
And so, TOF, with a cassette tape recorder in hand -- you may recollect such devices from the Paleophonic Era -- went over the river and through the woods to grandfather's house, and there in the Sacred Kitchen, where Irish families always seem to congregate, he mercilessly interrogated his aged grandsire. Well, perhaps he was not so aged as he seemed at the time. In fact, he may have been about the age TOF is today. Any cousin happening to read this will recall the deep timbre of his voice, the precision of his speech, and the hatchet motions of his hand as he made his point.

Family history is lived forward, but often discovered backward. So one starts with the living and peels back the onion generation by generation, overcoming curiosities and contradictions and resolving oral traditions along the way. Bits and pieces accumulate, not always in logical order. In the course of the interview, several things ancestral emerged.

  • Pop-pop had never known his paternal grandfather, who had died when his father was only ten.

  • He was no longer certain of that grandfather's name, but thought it might have been James or John.

  • His grandfather had been killed on the railroad when he was caught between two coal cars and crushed to death, sometime he thought in the 1880s.

  • He had married Anne Lynch, who had worked for "a miller and his wife."

  • They had all lived in Washington, NJ, where the railroad yards were.

  • He had come from Ireland, and there were two sisters and a brother who "went to California to look for gold."

Armed with this somewhat fluffy information, TOF wrote to the NJ Vital Statistics, and asked vaguely about Flynns killed on the railroad in Washington NJ in the 1880s. Bureaucrats were more nimble in those days and, after all, how many Flynns could have been killed in railroad accidents in Washington NJ in the 1880s?
Ans.: Two.
But it may be best to let the story tell itself in the proper direction.

Veteran's Day (née Armistice Day)

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Today is Veteran's Day (née Armistice Day)

At the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918, the guns in Europe fell silent at last. The United States built a wall inscribed with the names of servicemen killed or missing in the nine years' war. In three-and-a-half years, the Allies in WW1 suffered deaths amounting to 103 Vietnam walls. That's just over 2.5 Vietnam walls every month.

Technically, it was only an armistice, and 21 years later, they had to do it all over again; this time with massive civilian casualties.

Since then, Armistice Day has been expanded to include all veterans of all wars. As generally done on Veteran's day, TOF appends here a short account of veterans in my own and the Incomparable Marge's families.

TOF himself is not a veteran.  The closest he got was two years of Artillery ROTC (so he can call down shells on your location.  You have been warned.) but he was classified 4F by a wise military. This was at the height of the Vietnam War, to which TOF expressed opposition, though unlike other opponents, it was LBJ's insistence on micromanaging the war that irritated him the most, as well as Sec. McNamara's weird focus on corporate-like numbers crunching.



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There is another old story posted briefly on the TOF Spot. "Werehouse" is a vile and depraved narrative of a vile and depraved milieu.


First Way, Part IV: The Cascades

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Previous episodes in this exciting series, now drawing toward its thrilling climax:

  • Background lays out the history of the Argument from Motion and the impatience of those who demand that it prove more than it asserts to prove (e.g., that it prove that Jesus is Lord or some such thing, as if the objector were genuinely concerned about this shortfall).

  • Part I A Moving Tale discusses the concept of "motion" used in the Argument from Motion, and how this is persistently misunderstood today.

  • Part II Two Lemmas demonstrate that

  1. Whatever is being actualized right now is being actualized by another.

  2. There cannot be an infinite regress of instrumental changers,

  • Part III: The Big Kahuna combined the two Lemmas into the first theorem and its corollaries

A number of objections and misunderstandings were also addressed in these prior posts.

We are now ready for Thomas' throwaway teaser: "and this [the unmoved mover] is what all men call God." Folks who have never read any further (if they have even read that far) are often puzzled. How do you get God out of that? TOF hears them cry in bewilderment.

The answer lies in the several hundred further Questions and Articles in which these points are developed. In the interests of brevity, a few subsequent proofs will now be stated without extensive arguments, but ought to be intelligible in the light of what has already been said.


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