Friday, May 13, 2016

Watch Your Step

Thank Living Tribunal It's Friday!

"You know that shirt doesn't go with those pants, right?"

Inches and Miles

To the complete surprise of absolutely no one who pays attention to how progressives attempt to advance their agenda on every front, this morning the Obama administration followed up on the lawsuit its Justice Department is pursuing against the state of North Carolina by sending notification to every public school in the United States that they must permit students to use whichever facilities conform to their "gender identity," lest the district be punished with the loss of Federal funding and possibly even an expensive lawsuit.

As author and columnist Ben Shapiro notes this morning, this breathtaking power grab by the Federal leviathan is nothing less than a rejection of objective biological fact and moral principle in order to cater to the political whims of leftist ideologues.

There will be pushback, of course, deservedly so. But in the meantime, it is worth remembering that when conservatives predicted this sort of overreach their concerns were dismissed as absurd "slippery slope" fallacies. As someone who taught logic and reasoning for 30 years, I certainly think the slippery slope manner of reasoning is too pervasive in our politics.

That doesn't meant that, once in awhile, the slope is NOT, in fact, slippery...

"If you ask me, you bipeds need a refresher course on basic biology."

Tell me about it...

Feast Day

Our Lady of Fatima, Filli Bonella Milan
May 13 is the feast day of Our Lady of Fátima, commemorating the day in 1917 when three shepherd children saw the first of several apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary near Fátima, Portugal.

It was on May 13, 1946 that Pope Pius XII declared the apparitions to be worthy of belief by the faithful. Pope Paul VI made a pilgrimage to the sanctuary on this date in 1967 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the first apparition. Pope Benedict XVI visited the site on this date in 2010.

Pope John Paul II credited Our Lady of Fatima with saving his life following an assassination attempt in 1981, and he visited the sanctuary on her feast day in 1987. Speaking of which...

Dark Days

Marker on the spot of the shooting, St. Peter's Square
On May 13, 1981 I was nearing the end of my first year teaching at Seaman High School in Topeka, Kansas when there was an attempt on the life of Pope John Paul II in St. Peter's Square.

Fortunately, assassin Mehmet Ali Ağca failed, and the pontiff would recover from his injuries.

It was the second high-profile assassination attempt that year.
On March 30, 1981 an attempt on the life of President Ronald Reagan was made outside the Washington Hilton Hotel in Washington, D.C.

Lunatic would-be assassin John Hinckley, Jr. had also been unsuccessful, and the President fully recovered from his injuries.

It was a difficult spring for me, emotionally...

Happy Birthday!

On May 13, 1907 Dame Daphne du Maurier, Lady Browning DBE was born in London, England. The daughter of two actors, Daphne had no interest in following in their footsteps. Instead, she became one of the most accomplished and influential writers of the 20th century.

Although she is best known for her novel Rebecca, which received the National Book Award in 1938, she was also an accomplished short story writer. Her remarkable stories "The Birds" and "Don't Look Now" were the basis for memorable films by Alfred Hitchcock and Nicolas Roeg, respectively.

"She was really good at the spooky stuff, wasn't she?"

 She really, really was...

Physics Humor

From the droll webcomic xkcd, by Randall Munroe, which you should read every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, as I do.

Until Next Time...

I am a big fan of mystery novels, including what my hero Raymond Chandler classified as "novels of suspense." These were not mystery stories in the sense that the short stories and novels Chandler wrote were. Rather, they were novels in which an element of mystery (often involving supernatural elements) served as the backdrop for the story involving characters who were not policemen or private detectives.

Daphne du Maurier was a master of the form. Her 1938 novel Rebecca is one of the
most successful examples of the genre, selling several million copies and never going
out of print. It is certainly her best-known work.
Original 1940 "one sheet" poster

The film adaptation of du Maurier's best-seller, directed by the brilliant Alfred Hitchcock, was released in April 1940, to immediate critical acclaim.

Rebecca would be nominated for 11 Academy Awards, winning two, including Best Picture (called Outstanding Production in those days, the last year that category name was used). Over the past 80 years (since the Supporting Actor and Actress categories were added), Rebecca is the only Best Picture winner to get shut out in the acting and directing Oscar categories (although Hitchcock, Laurence Olivier, Joan Fontaine, and Judith Anderson were all nominated).

The film's score, by Franz Waxman, was also nominated for the Academy Award
(one of his 12 career nominations). Although he had produced several successful film scores before Rebecca, including some Oscar-nominated ones, it was his work on the Hitchcock film that really got him noticed and made his reputation. Waxman eventually won consecutive Best Score Oscars for Sunset Boulevard (1950) and A Place in the Sun (1951).

Today's send-off is a suite of themes and motifs from Waxman's lush, evocative score, performed by the National Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Charles Gerhardt. Enjoy

No comments:

Post a Comment