Daily Archives: October 7, 2006

New blog at "Year of Grace"

I have posted a new entry on my “Year of Grace” conversion retro blog.


Comments Off on New blog at "Year of Grace"

Filed under Uncategorized

And now for something completely different: The ig Nobel Prize

Here’s something for a chuckle. This morning’s edition of The Age reported on Harvard University’s “Ig Nobel Prize” winners for 2006:


The 2006 Ig Nobel winners, awarded by Annals of Improbable Research magazine, Harvard University.

■ ORNITHOLOGY The late Philip May and Ivan Schwab for exploring and explaining why woodpeckers do not get headaches.

■ NUTRITION Wasmia al-Houty and Faten al-Mussalam, for showing that dung beetles are finicky about the dung.

■ PEACE Howard Stapleton, for inventing a teenager repellent, an electronic device that makes annoying noise designed to be audible to teenagers but not adults. The same technology is used to make ringtones audible to teens, but not teachers.

■ ACOUSTICS Lynn Halpern, Randolph Blake and James Hillenbrand for experiments to learn why people dislike the sound of fingernails on a chalkboard.

■ MATHEMATICS Nic Svenson and Piers Barnes, for calculating the number of photographs you must take to ensure that nobody in a group photo will have their eyes closed.

■ LITERATURE Daniel Oppenheimer, for his report “Consequences of Erudite Vernacular Utilised Irrespective of Necessity: Problems with Using Long Words Needlessly”. [My favourite!]

■ MEDICINE Joint winners: Francis Fesmire, for his medical case report, “Termination of Intractable Hiccups with Digital Rectal Massage”; and Majed Odeh, Harry Bassan, and Arie Oliven for their subsequent medical case report.

■ PHYSICS Basile Audoly and Sebastien Neukirch, for their insights into why dry spaghetti often breaks into more than two pieces when bent.

■ CHEMISTRY Antonio Mulet, Jose Javier Benedito, Jose Bon and Carmen Rossello, for their study “Ultrasonic Velocity in Cheddar Cheese as Affected by Temperature”.

■ BIOLOGY Bart Knols and Ruurd de Jong, for showing that female malaria mosquitoes are attracted equally to the smell of Limburger cheese and to the smell of human feet.

Comments Off on And now for something completely different: The ig Nobel Prize

Filed under Uncategorized

Is the Pope Catholic/Infallible?

Two commentators, neither of them Catholic, have demonstrated that although the Pope’s Catholicity can hardly be called into question, his charism of infallibility is one of the most misunderstood doctrines of the Church.

Yusuf Islam, the artist once known as Cat Stevens (who apparently had a Catholic schooling), believes that the Regensburg affair has demonstrated that the Pope is not infallible.

Mike Hume of Spiked-Online also thinks the Regensburg affair reflects badly on the infallibility of the pope.

But hold on guys. We have never said that the Pope is an infallible interpreter of Islam or history, but rather of Catholic faith and morals. Nor have we ever said that the Pope is infallible when he speaks from his old professorial cathedra in Regensburg, but only when he speaks from the Cathedra of St Peter in Rome.

After all, the Pope is Catholic.

Comments Off on Is the Pope Catholic/Infallible?

Filed under Uncategorized

Fraser Pearce’s presentation onthe Ordination of Women

Fraser Pearce is back from the Lutheran Church of Australia Pastors Conference and Synod, and has put his presentation on the ordination of women on his blogsite. The important bit, as in all Fraser’s writings, is towards the end.

I had a short phone conversation with Fraser this morning. I need to talk with him at greater length to see if I understand him correctly, but I think he is making a distinction between the authoritative definition of the doctrine and practice of ordination as an objective and universal truth in the church catholic (something the LCA Synod is hardly capable of doing, let alone authorised to do) and the responsible determination of what the LCA’s public practice and doctrine in this matter should be (something it is quite obviously authorised to do by its constituents and even perhaps capable of doing). An important distinction, I think. The upshot of which is that although the membership of the LCA is divided on what is “The Right Thing to Do” (to use Peregrinus’ words), it has determined what (for the time being at least) is the public teaching of the LCA.

Comments Off on Fraser Pearce’s presentation onthe Ordination of Women

Filed under Uncategorized