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Archive for May, 2009

Southern Ohio

Southern Ohio

In a previous post I linked to a London Times story on the controversial election of a U. S. Episcopal bishop. In my diocese (Southern Ohio), the Bishop and the Standing Committee took opposite positions in their votes on this election.

BISHOP’S STATEMENT:

A Message From the Bishop’s Office
March 31, 2009

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ

I am writing to inform you of my decision not to consent to the consecration of Kevin Thew Forrester as Bishop of Northern Michigan. I did not want to make a public statement before I shared my concerns with the Standing Committee. I was able to do this at their meeting last Friday, March 27.

(more…)

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Isti Mirant Stellam

Isti Mirant Stellam

Here’s a link to a presentation prepared for Miami University’s Institute for Learning in Retirement. Anglo-Saxon England was the period of my dissertation at the University of Wisconsin, but after getting into public radio I left teaching behind for several years. A trip to England with friends from Oxford awakened my interest in doing something with a subject I love, so I volunteered to teach for ILR in 2004. Here’s the PDF of my presentations.

The illustration (from Wikipedia Commons) is from a panel in the Bayeux Tapestry, woven by the Normans to celebrate their victory over the Anglo-Saxons at the Battle of Hastings in 1066. Those of us who love the period realize that this was as much a disaster as it was a triumph. Be that as it may . . . the tapestry caption reads “ISTI MIRANT STELLAM” (the line over the last A signifies an M), or ‘they wonder at the star.’ The star in this case was Halley’s comet, which appeared in 1066. Comets were frequent portents of dread.

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View from a deck

Deck view

Deck view

This is the view from our back deck, taken just before sunrise. Daytime temperatures are very pleasant right now in Cincinnati, but mornings are still a little chilly for me. Still, it’s too nice not to stroll out here. This is the reason we built it.

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Gaffney cooling tower -- NYTimes

Gaffney cooling tower -- NYTimes

U.S. 29 Journal: More on Gaffney.

All right, my home town is famous for more than just the world’s largest water tower in the shape of a peach. It’s also the home of the world’s largest nuclear cooling tower that housed a major motion picture. Started but never finished in the 1970’s by Duke Energy (then Duke Power), the abandoned cooling tower became the set for underwater scenes in James Cameron’s The Abyss starring the estimable Ms. Mastrantonio, in 1989. (Wouldn’t it have been great if James Cameron had cast Andie McDowell in the part? She’s from Gaffney! Grew up around the corner from me!)

In recent years the growth of interest in nuclear power has led Duke to reopen the idea — of building the plant, that is, not remaking The Abyss — though not without some opposition.

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McCoy or Gore?

McCoy or Gore?

My children humored me last night and went with me to the new Star Trek movie. Ingmar Bergman it ain’t, but it was totally enjoyable as a splendidly over-the-top action reboot of the franchise. The kids, who have never suffered through enjoyed watching any of the original TV series episodes, seemed to enjoy it (they said they did, anyway). I imagine there are Trekkies/Trekkers who will find fault with the re-imagining of the story, even though J.J. Abrams was careful to throw in some iconic characters and allusions to TV mythology.

The casting was quite clever, including Simon Pegg as engineer Scotty and most especially Zachary Quinto as a spot-on Spock. ‘Bones’ McCoy was Karl Urban, memorable in The Lord of the Rings and The Bourne Supremacy. But his struggle with an American accent kept reminding me of someone struggling to hide a Tennessee twang, and it finally hit me. He’s Al Gore.

Update: I Googled this idea to see if anyone else had noticed it. Jonah Goldberg compared the Gore & McCoy in a couple of columns around 2000, but not in reference to the current movie.

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the Venerable Bede

the Venerable Bede

May 25th is the feast day of the Venerable Bede (aka St. Bede), the only English-born “Doctor of the Church.” Here’s a presentation (11 megs) I put together for the Adult Forum class of Holy Trinity Episcopal Church in Oxford, OH. And here’s the sermon on Bede I preached that day.

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Port Isaac

Port Isaac

We’ve become fans of the English import series Doc Martin on PBS. If you liked Northern Exposure you may enjoy this fish-out-of-water series about a quirky doctor in a quirky village. If you didn’t like Northern Exposure you may find Doc Martin slightly less self-consciously precious. It’s filmed in the village of Port Isaac in Cornwall. We’ve never been there (or anywhere in Cornwall) but the location shots are very appealing.

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