--1--This week is spring break at UT. I took a couple of days off, but due to the torrential downpour of the weekend (and Monday), I really didn't go anywhere. Darn weather, ruining our little camping trip. As for the days I went to work, they were the same as always, minus students--and also minus the coffee stand in RLM--other than that I spend most mornings in a daze thanks to daylight savings time. And since i get home later than most people, the result for now is that an hour of daylight is subtracted from my mornings, and an hour of darkness is added to my evenings. Thanks for nothing, time nazis.
--2--I really didn't get to go anywhere or do anything fun--and I'm not into the whole "South by Southwest" music scene, so staying here isn't that great for me. Camping was cancelled, SXSW is and expensive set-up meant to draw rich Californians to Austin, and I don't have the kind of money of Miss Sandra Fluke* and/or her boyfriend so that I can go vacationing in Italy and Spain. And because everybody is so irregular around her, I don't even work as efficiently this week as I otherwise would have. I did, however, finish my grading from the Great Midterm Exam of Doom (and there were no pictures this time, as I predicted). Beyond that, it's been an interesting fiasco of correspondence with the theorist (who says that the experiment can't be done the way we had originally intended), and more correspondence with the engineering teams of several optics companies, who seem to be saying that they can't actually make the optics needed to do the experiment how the theorist suggests. Fun times are had by all.
*Yes, that is the same Sandra Fluke who complains that she can't afford $1000 per year (a bit inflated, no?) of birth control, and that therefore the rights of faithful Catholics should be trampled underfoot to buy it for her.
--3--In happier news, our new baby nephew is to be baptized on Saturday (tomorrow). One more soul enters the Church, and by God's grace and the prayers of his parents and godparents, he'll joyfully and faithfully remain in that Church. As Saint Gregory of Nanzienzus--for whom our nephew is partially named--states, "Do you have an infant child? Allow sin no opportunity; rather, let the infant be sanctified from childhood. From his most tender age let him be consecrated by the Spirit."
--4--As for today, my basic goal is to design a new set of conservation of energy experiments for the physical sciences class. Suffice it to say that I'm not really satisfied with much of anything I have available. I used to do a cart son tracks experiment, but they're kind of sick of doing that at this point. Plus, our photogates don't work so well (after only about a year or so of wear and tear), so it would be nice to try something else a bit simpler.
--5--In last week's quick takes, I spent a bit of time discussing Mitt Romney and the fiscal conservatives--particularly those who are fiscally conservative at the expense of being socially/culturally conservative. Nor am I anywhere near as enthusiastic about Rick Santorum as I would have been 8 years ago. He has most of the social conservatism without much of the economic conservatism. Ron Paul, for his part, is more liberterian than conservative, and though he makes many great points, he also has a few clunkers of his own--mostly, in being a bit too reactionary against things which are actually bad. I concluded by noting however, that this time around I will bite the bullet and vote for whichever candidate I think can beat Obama. Father Zuhlsdorf has posted a little emblem which explains why. I'm not a single issue voter per se, but I will eliminate from consideration any candidate (or party) which makes promotion of the culture of death a central plank of his (it's) platform. And in this latest round, outright war against faithful Catholics and our conscience rights and the freedom of our religion has become a second plank, what with the Obama Administration's tyrannical HHS mandate and the near-unanimous support of it by the Democrats in the Senate.
|I wouldn't be surprised to learn that some national lab is attempting this.|
--7--I've been reading through the late Professor Warren H Carroll's The Building of Christendom, specifically the part about the decline and fall of the Roman Empire (which takes place during the first third or half of the book). At one pint, he states that the fall of the Empire was inevitable from the latter half of the fourth century (if not sooner): there was nothing that any person could have done to reverse this fall. I sometime wonder when we'll hit that point in America (or if we haven't already). If so, what is a Christian to do? According to Dr Carroll, there were two options available then: to leave civilization and become a monk (thus, ironically, helping to save what could be saved from civilization), or to remain faithfully at one's post, as did Saint Augustine when he died in his late seventies, in Hippo as it was besieged by Vandals. God grant me the grace to choose my path wisely when the day comes. Until then,
St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle. Be our defense against the wickedness and snares of the Devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray, and do thou, O Prince of the heavenly hosts, by the power of God, thrust into hell Satan, and all the evil spirits, who prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls. Amen.
Seven Quick Takes Friday is hosted by Mrs Jennifer Fulwiler at her Conversion Diary blog.