Friday, January 18, 2013

Facts for Morgan

A friend opined that Piers Stefan Pughe-Morgan is just angry because armed private American citizens sent his forefathers back to England. I don't watch Morgan enough to say; I can normally bear to watch only short installments.

His facts seem to need a bit of help too. From Bill Swan's "Reality Check" -- see

Morgan: Having banned guns about 15 years ago, the U.K. had only 35 gun-related deaths in 2011. The U.S. had 11,000 that year.

Fact Check 1: FBI crime stats show that, of the 12,664 U.S. homicides in 2011, 8,583 were gun-related. About 1,000 of those were ruled to be justifiable homicides (i.e. law enforcement acts and self-defense by citizens).

Fact Check 2: The U.K. had 59 gun-related homicides in 2011, not 35.

Morgan: The U.K. (63 million subjects) serves as a model of what the U.S. (315 million citizens) should be doing.

Fact Check 3: In the European Union (EU), the U.K. has (a) the 2nd highest crime rate, (b) the 5th highest robbery rate, and (c) the 4th highest burglary rate.

Fact Check 4: The E.U. recognized the U.K. as its most violent member country, with 2,034 violent crimes per 100,000 people. The U.S. has only 466 violent crimes per 100,000 people. Despite having the highest gun ownership rates in the world, the U.S. is 28th in gun-related homicides; the overall murder rate: 2.97 per 100,000.

The Incorruptibles

Yesterday I happened upon this short YouTube video about a few of the incorruptibles -- very holy souls whose bodies do not decompose after their death.


Below I've indicated which of the figures shown in the video I've been able to visit over the years.

St. Pio of Pietrelcina (1887-1968): a.k.a. Padre Pio, a stigmatist. He is in Italy, and is on the list of saints I hope to visit one day.

St. John Marie Vianney (1786-1859): Ars, France in 2010

St. Catherine Laboure (1806-1876): Paris, France in 2008

St. Don Bosco (1815-1888): Turin, Italy in 2010

St. Vincent de Paul (1580-1623): Paris, France in 2008

Ven. Maria de Jesus de Agreda (1602-1665) and St. Veronica Giuliani (1660-1727): they are in Spain and Italy, respectively. I have not visited them.

St. Bernadette Soubirous (1844-1879): She is originally from Lourdes, France. I visited her at her convent in Nevers in 2010.

Not pictured are St. Pius V (1504-1572) and St. Pius X (1835-1914), two incorrupt Popes I visited in Rome in 2000 and again in 2005.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Marcel: The Movie

The SSPX-sponsored film about Abp. Marcel Lefebvre is in threaters.

Take a gander at

Thursday, January 10, 2013

IME Study: Half of World's Food Wasted


In a UK-based report (Global Food; Waste No, Want Not), the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IME) said that as much as half of the world's food is wasted. The waste is caused by poor storage, strict sell-by dates, bulk offers, and consumer fussiness.
Dr. Tim Fox, head of energy and environment at the IME, said: "The amount of food wasted and lost around the world is staggering. This is food that could be used to feed the world's growing population - as well as those in hunger today."
And who's been saying the world has so many hungry people because of over-population? Posh.

Solomon's Judgment

Two women were in the court of King Solomon, disputing over who was the mother of the baby they'd brought with them. After listening to the women speak, Solomon declared that the baby should be split in two, each woman getting half. The dishonest woman said that was fine by her; the true mother of the baby, meanwhile, said no: she would rather see the baby in the arms of the false woman than for the child to die.
As a metaphor, the child is like the truth: it's all or nothing, and you don't get to split the difference without savaging what matters. There is no compromise; being open-minded (in the modernist sense) is fatal. Not everything is relative.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

When Excessive Video Gaming is OK

A Chinese father, surname Feng, disliked that his unemployed son was spending so much time playing computer video games. The son was involved in digital role-playing games -- the kind in which the player takes on the persona of a character and travels about the virtual world performing deeds, undertaking quests, and the like. Virtual death of the persona at the hands of virtual villains (or the claws of virtual dragons) is just the risk you have to be willing to take to play the game. A consolation is that should one's character come to an untimely end, it can be re-constituted by just hitting the reset button.

The elder Mr. Feng hit upon a creative solution for curing his son of his gaming addiction: he retained the professional services of other gamers to use their online personas to repeatedly assassinate his son's online persona. In virtual mafia fashion, this was not personal -- it was just digital family business.

Read the story at

Professor Mark Griffiths, a gambling and addictions expert at Nottingham Trent University in England, told the BBC: "I've come across very excessive players - playing for 10 to 14 hours a day - but for a lot of these people it causes no detrimental problems if they are not employed, aren't in relationships and don't have children."

Truly. One wonders if Prof Griffiths considers solitary persons with no job or family due to excessive gaming to be a detriment?

Then again, I'm not an expert on gambling and addictions, so what do I know.

Courtship Modeled on the Heavens

An atheist of our virtual acquaintance offered this thought:

"God could have made it much simpler if He had made the earth rotate at a rate such that the time to circle the sun was a whole number, and that the number of days that the moon takes to circle the earth was a whole number, and that this number was evenly divisible into the length of the year. Why does He always challenge us? (Just stirring the pot)."

My reply ran thus:

"The young woman could have made it much simpler if she had arranged her schedule to correspond with our work schedule and personal holiday arrangements. If she had been genuinely interested in our concerns, she would have planned her birthday to match ours. Her personal interests and hobbies are fine on her own time, but she should be willing to put them down when yours truly enters the room and attend to our person. Why does she always challenge our sincere efforts at chivalrous romance? (Just stirring the pot)."