Sunday, November 25, 2012

Stuff below the fold

In France, even cheese is sexy....


It's now Cardinal Tagle.


Factoid of the day: Catholics accept a lot of modern biblical scholarship, but the press seems surprised that the Pope's new book does too.

But this is a factoid I didn't know: Rome stole Christmas from the Christians.
a 2003 article “Calculating Christmas” by Prof. William Tighe in Touchstone magazine.
Many Christians think that Christians celebrate Christ’s birth on December 25th because the church fathers appropriated the date of a pagan festival. Almost no one minds, except for a few groups on the fringes of American Evangelicalism, who seem to think that this makes Christmas itself a pagan festival. But it is perhaps interesting to know that the choice of December 25th is the result of attempts among the earliest Christians to figure out the date of Jesus’ birth based on calendrical calculations that had nothing to do with pagan festivals.
Rather, the pagan festival of the “Birth of the Unconquered Son” instituted by the Roman Emperor Aurelian on 25 December 274, was almost certainly an attempt to create a pagan alternative to a date that was already of some significance to Roman Christians. Thus the “pagan origins of Christmas” is a myth without historical substance.

Via GetReligionBlog:

When you worry about TEOTWAWKI, maybe you need to remember how it almost ended...and didn't...

the world did not end in 1883. A new paper reinterpreting old astronomical data argues that a massive comet disintegrated near Earth and its fragments passed as close as 600km from us in August of that year. Technology Review summarizes just what this could have meant:
Manterola and co end their paper by spelling out just how close Earth may have come to catastrophe that day. They point out that Bonilla observed these objects for about three and a half hours over two days. This implies an average of 131 objects per hour and a total of 3275 objects in the time between observations.
Each fragment was at least as big as the one thought to have hit Tunguska. Manterola and co end with this: “So if they had collided with Earth we would have had 3275 Tunguska events in two days, probably an extinction event.”


headsup Instapundit.

Want an original gift idea? Check out suggestions at RandomGoodStuff...

everything from a tentacle arm to Bacon soda...

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