Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Apparently, I'm the 1000th!!!

My favourite Lady tells me (and incidentally the rest of the world) that I'm the 1,000th visitor to the Lowdenclear blog. The prize for this is (happily for me) lifelong matrimony!!

So by way of a compliment to my intended this is what she gets for putting up with me for a lifetime.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

John Harris OP, God bless him!

Anyone who knows the Irish Dominican Province knows Fr John OP. Come to that anyone who has had even peripheral contact with that fine bunch Youth 2000, will have seen or heard him. (Actually when he is at his cheerful booming best, you'd hear him from about three miles away!) Anyway courtesy of Miss Dawn Eden here are the Friars of the Dominican House of Studies, Washington DC putting up a welcoming banner for the Holy Father. And the encouragement from the left hand side is indeed in the mellifluous Munster tones of Fr John!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Books but not as we know them ...

For a real book lover, there is no substitute for having a solid, well-bound and long-lasting volume in your hand. So while Perseus' version of Lewis & Short is welcome, what is really indispensable is an actual print copy. (Mine came at the miniscule price of IR£20 in the Blackrock Market in 1992!)

However, it's not always possible to get every book you want, or even to afford the ones you want most. Here's where the Internet Archive comes into play, more specifically their Text Archive. They will give you flip books i.e. readable facsimile images of the book concerned which you can look at online. Or you can get full colour PDFs of many texts.

The two books I've wanted for some time but could never find were the Stowe Missal in the Bradshaw Society edition and the original critical edition of A. M. S. Boethius' Opuscula Sacra by Rudolf Peiper. (Leipzig: Teubner Verlag, 1871)

In both cases, I still don't have them and may not for many years. What I do have are colour PDFs so that I can read the texts I need to, and get the research done! It's not perfect but it's a whole lot better than no text at all. Now if only someone would put Lewis & Short up there; that way I could carry a copy around in my laptop!

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

The Holy Father in flying form, in two languages!

The Holy Father is about to make an Apostolic Visit to the USA and he prepared the above deeply spiritual message in advance of the trip. As with anything else he says we can expect that this will be misunderstood by many journalists with little knowledge of, and even less interest in, his teaching. However, an excellent American organisation the Pew Forum held a briefing for journalists so that they could put il Papa's visit in context. They had two speakers, John Allen of the infamous National Catholic Distorter (who is despite that and his execrable biography of the Cardinal Ratzinger, a fair-minded and decent commenter) and George Weigel a solidly orthodox Catholic, if a bit too neo-Conservative for my liking.

The whole transcript of the discussion, including questions and answers afterwards can be found here; particularly interesting though is one quote from Allen, showing the Pope's sharp even slightly barbed sense of humour.

There is a custom in the Vatican press corps that when one of us publishes a book about the pope, we typically inscribe a copy to him and then give it either to his private secretary or to his spokes[man]. [...] But when the Holy Father was elected, I published one of these insta-books about the conclave and the new pope. And I dutifully inscribed it to the pope, and I gave it to his spokes[man Joaquin Navarro-Valls] ... this was in June. In August, I got a call on my cell phone from Navarro-Valls [who] said, look John, I want you to know that I’m on vacation with the Holy Father, and the pope came down to breakfast this morning with your book in his hands... So Navarro says to me, ... the pope has a message for you ... would you please thank Herr Allen for having written this book, particularly the last part about the future of my pontificate because it has saved me the trouble of thinking about it for myself.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

If you answer to Lowdenclear ...

... then you'd probably better not read this!

My long suffering fiancée puts up with my cooking, sense of humour and funny moods (which she even says aren't grumpy) but some of my first-aid related stories she can do without. Fair enough; if you're her, then, maybe darling, you might prefer to skip this short entry. Someone suggested that chest-compression only CPR (in suspected cardiac arrest patients i.e. neither paediatric nor drowning) might be of more benefit than mouth to mouth and compressions. So far so good, especially as I wouldn't do mouth-to-mouth if you paid me! (Mouth to mask, that's a different, no vomitus in my oral cavity sort of game!!)

However, the American author of the above-linked article suggests aiming your compressions between the patient's nipples. That's just silly. The sternum or breastbone is a fixed point, running from a hollow at the top of the stomach up to a hollow at the bottom of the neck. But just you try to aim "between the nipples" of a 55 year old woman carrying a few extra pounds. Then try it when you've cut her clothing away to facilitate placing AED pads. (Remember ILCOR 2005 says 1 shock then CPR for 5 cycles or 2 minutes, then another shock.) You'd be trying chest compressions somewhere around her waist! Then try it on an obese 75 year-old male with man-breasts!

Finally if you haven't had any training in CPR don't expect to able to do anything at all - no training tends to mean lots of fear, some panic and a total freeze. If, on the other hand, you want to know what to do and how to do it in such a situation, follow the link in my sidebar!