Blessed John Cardinal Henry Newman

John Henry Newman, when he preached his first ...
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John Henry Newman has now been declared Blessed, a step up from Venerable. I imagine the next move is towards canonization or sainthood and then after that, there’ll probably be a push to name him Doctor of the Church. John Allen at National Catholic Reporter has a bunch of interesting links.

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UK Bans Pregnant Nun Ice Cream

Evil Advert
Image by Jason Cartwright via Flickr

Via CNN:

London, England (CNN) — Britain’s advertising watchdog has censured an Italian ice cream manufacturer over an advertisement depicting a heavily pregnant nun that appeared ahead of a papal visit to the UK.

The ad featuring the strapline “immaculately conceived” over an image of the expectant sister spooning from a tub of Antonio Federici ice cream was “likely to cause widespread offense,” the Advertising Standards Authority ruled.

The ASA said the publishers of Lady magazine, which carried the ad, had received several complaints from readers.

The watchdog rejected the manufacturer’s claims that it was “using gentle humor” to convey the message that “ice cream is our religion.”

“We considered the use of a nun pregnant through immaculate conception was likely to be seen as a distortion and mockery of the beliefs of Roman Catholics,” the ASA ruling said.

Sarrazin–Germany being “dumbed down” by Turks and Kurds

Via WaPo:

BERLIN – The most talked about man in Germany is a 65-year-old economist whose hot new book and sudden groundswell of popular support have the media dubbing him a folk hero. But that is not the only thing they are calling Thilo Sarrazin these days.

Some are also calling him dangerous. Sarrazin, a board member of the German Central Bank until he resigned under pressure Thursday, has divided the nation by postulating the theory that Germany is being “dumbed down” by Muslim immigrants and their children. Wielding statistics and scientific arguments both in his book and in public comments, he delves into territory largely taboo here since the Holocaust, suggesting that “hereditary factors” are at least partly to blame. Turks and Kurdish immigrants, he asserts, are genetically predisposed to lower intelligence than Germans and other ethnic groups, including Jews.

His statements have shocked many in Germany not only because of a national sensitivity to anything remotely smacking of genetic superiority claims in the post-World War II era. What has also shocked many is that so many Germans have rallied to his side as the central bank and his political party have sought to oust him for his pronouncements.

The article says most of his backers are distancing themselves from the heredity statement, but they love the other part, as though there is a fine demarcation between the racist aspect of this and the non-racist part, if there is one.

The sickening part is that this guy is being embraced as a “folk hero” for saying things people want to say but are afraid to.

The story gets weirder:

German-Jewish groups, for instance, are among Sarrazin’s staunchest critics, calling him a dangerous racist. Though Sarrazin has spoken positively of Jews, saying they have “high IQs,” he courted controversy after declaring in an Aug. 29 interview that “all Jews share a certain gene.” In fact, observers here say that the official outcry against Sarrazin – including the move to expel him from the board of the central bank – would have been far more muted had he simply stuck to his generalizations about Muslims.

But by generalizing about Jewish genetics, albeit positively, Sarrazin also “crossed a red line,” said Stephan Kramer, secretary general of the Central Council of Jews in Germany.

“It’s absolutely unacceptable with the history here that such a large amount of people follow what he says,” Kramer said. “The lesson of the Holocaust is not just about Jews, but that human dignity is indivisible. Yet now, they react if there is a genetic comment about Jews, but not if it’s about the Roma or the Turks. We obviously still have some homework to do.”

Part of the propaganda against the Jews in the early Nazi years was the fact that their “hairsplitting” distinction making in academic matters was problematic. While much of the propaganda was dehumanizing, the success of Jews as prominent thinkers was also held against them. So saying the Jews have a high IQ does not erase the problem of this sort of ethnic categorization. This whole thing is downright creepy.

Good dancing is sign of male health, scientists say

Via BBC:

Dr Nick Neave looks at the difference between “good” and “bad” dancing

Scientists say they’ve carried out the first rigorous analysis of dance moves that make men attractive to women.

The researchers say that movements associated with good dancing may be indicative of good health and reproductive potential.

“When you go out to clubs people have an intuitive understanding of what makes a good and bad dancer,” said co-author Dr Nick Neave, an evolutionary psychologist at Northumbria University, UK.

“What we’ve done for the very first time is put those things together with a biometric analysis so we can actually calculate very precisely the kinds of movements people focus on and associate them with women’s ratings of male dancers.”

Dr Neave asked young men who were not professional dancers, to dance in a laboratory to a very basic drum rhythm and their movements with 12 cameras.

These movements were then converted into a computer-generated cartoon – an avatar – which women rated on a scale of one to seven. He was surprised by the results.

“We thought that people’s arms and legs would be really important. The kind of expressive gestures the hands [make], for example. But in fact this was not the case,” he said.

“We found that (women paid more attention to) the core body region: the torso, the neck, the head. It was not just the speed of the movements, it was also the variability of the movement. So someone who is twisting, bending, moving, nodding.”

Movements that went down terribly were twitchy and repetitive – so called “Dad dancing”.

Dr Neave’s aim was to establish whether young men exhibited the same courtship movement rituals in night clubs as animals do in the wild. In the case of animals, these movements give information about their health, age, their reproductive potential and their hormone status.

“People go to night clubs to show off and attract the opposite sex so I think it’s a valid way of doing this,” Dr Neave explained.

“In animals, the male has to be in good physical quality to carry out these movements. We think the same is happening in humans and certainly the guys that can put these movements together are going to be young and fit and healthy.”

Dr Neave also took blood samples from the volunteers. Early indications from biochemical tests suggest that the men who were better dancers were also more healthy.

Cooking Ribs–New Easy Dry Rub

Dry rub recipe I put together:

1 tablespoon salt

1 tablespoon pepper

1 tablespoon garlic powder

3 tablespoons brown sugar

Mix everything together use fingers if necessary and then taste. It should taste like sugar without the sweetness and touch briney.

Rub baby back ribs all over with all of the rub.

Turn grill on and make sure it is very hot. Place baby back ribs, fleshy side down for 2 minutes or until you get nice deep grill marks. Then cover with foil and bake in regular oven for 5 hours on 200 degrees and then followed by 1 hour at 170 degrees. Make sure flesh side is down for the entire time.

At the 3 hour mark, you can cover with barbeque sauce or not. It is important that you do not drain the natural juices but let the ribs cook in them.

Don’t thank me, just say a prayer for me in payment.

LA Times–Buffalo Bills Will Go 0-16

Buffalo Bills logo
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Via-Buffalo Rumblings

LA Times sez

If any team has a chance to go 0-16 this season, it’s the Bills.

First of all it is a foolish prediction about a team that went 2-2 in the preseason, whose first team offense moved the ball well against every first team defense it faced and whose first team defense held up decently against opponents 1s.

Not to mention that we had the #2 pass defense in the league last year and that entire unit is returning with more experience.

The Bills are not going 18-0 but definitely not 0-16 or even 4-12. The only people who hope for 0-16 are people who want the Bills to fail and possibly . . . move to LA.

Update: October 11–Crow stuffing. I can see it now. The Bills are unlikely to win any games this year. The new GM, new Head coach, Defensive Coordinator, and Special Teams Coach are way in over their heads. The starting QB was benched and released after 2 games and the team has the worst defense in the NFL. Yes, 0-16 is possible. I still think Jax to LA is more possible than Bills to LA.

Colombian is New World’s Shortest Man

Via BBC:

A 70cm (27-inch) tall Colombian has been named the world’s shortest living man by Guinness World Records.

Edward Nino Hernandez, 24, weighs only 10kg (22lbs). His mother said he had not grown since he was two years old.

Mr Hernandez, who works part-time as a dancer, told the Associated Press: “I feel happy because I’m unique.”

The previous record holder was He Pingping of China, who was 4cm (1.5 inches) taller and died in March – before Mr Hernandez was discovered.

Mr Hernandez is not expected to keep the title for long, however, as Khagendra Thapa Magar of Nepal is expected to take the title when he turns 18 in October.