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November 13, 2006

Mightier than the Mighty Voltron

VoltronBehold! The countless incarnations of the dissertation!
What you see before you is a snap shot of my drafts stacks. The upper-most block represents the dissertation in its final form. The pulpy tower swaying below it contains all of the extant printed drafts that I submitted to my director and colleagues. There might be a stray secondary source or two in there, and it looks like some random pieces of paper might have gotten absorbed by the stack (probably some important form that I was supposed to turn in at some point). You can see that the dissertation effectively dwarfs even the Defender of the Universe himself who looks about ready to use the Blazing Sword on that academic robeast. Just to give you a sense of how tall Voltron is, there's a 3.75" Cobra Commander waving a Walter P.38 over by the Yellow lion. Astute observers will note that I mistakenly switched the yellow and blue modules. Fortunately, assembling Voltron in the proper order was not part of the dissertation defense.

Anyway, I still haven't turned the final draft in yet, so technically speaking, I'm still an active Catholic Terp for at least another month.

Posted by Peter Terp on November 13, 2006 at 10:24 PM | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

November 09, 2006

Hello World

If I post on here, does it come through the new site?

Posted by Thomas A. on November 9, 2006 at 12:31 PM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

November 08, 2006

Turn and face the strange

Dear readers,

You may have noticed some changes here at our little corner of the internet.  These changes reflect a sort of maturing process of the blog as the authors' relationship to the university community evolves.

The former title of this blog, Catholicae Testudines, served us well when the blog was the internet presence of some guys who hung out together at the CSC.  If you were ever stuck wondering what it meant, it was the nearest we could render "Catholic Terps" into Latin.  As the blog gradually became more and more an alumni operation, however, we felt an increasing inaptness in continuing to present ourselves as typical members of the Catholic student community at Maryland.  In addition, although we always tried to be careful about distinguishing our opinions from the teachings of the Church, we developed an increasing self-consciousness about how people might take our views as articulating what the CSC or the Church is all about, and the resulting caution came to have an increasingly confining effect on our posting.  This was, after all, meant to be a casual journal of what crossed our minds, not an academic journal on the teaching of the Church.

Our new title, The Ark and the Dove, keeps the Maryland and Catholic associations, but is more appropriate to our changing circumstances and allows us more freedom to write on whatever crosses our minds.

You can still expect the authors of The Ark and the Dove to be the same loyal sons of the Church as ever, and expect the same quality of posts.  We hope, however, that the transition will also occasion a new flowering of our writing, with increased variety, experimentation, and creativity.

Happy reading!  We look forward to your comments.  Don't forget to pray for us!

Albert, Peter, and Thomas

The Ark and The Dove

Posted by Al on November 8, 2006 at 09:28 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 07, 2006

Too Growed up for that...

I bet even if God offered to let us all go back to Eden and start all over again, most of us would be pretty quick to say no.

"What? You want us to run around doing nothing but eating fruit and gardening? While naked? No Internet or cable TV? No Playstation? No iPods or designer clothes? No oreo cookies? No novels or luxurious mode of travel? No action figures?"

I'm not saying that any of the things above are bad things in and of themselves. I'm just musing that we've risen (or rather fallen) to such a point that part of us wouldn't be able to accept God's original plan for us.

I also assume that this is one of the reasons God finds it necessary to subject us to Purgatory. As much as we might love God in our fallen way, we are probably going to require a quite a bit reformatting if we are going to really appreciate Heaven. And maybe Purgatory becomes part of an answer to all those people who ask why God let's people do evil...why God doesn't just reprogram us in such a way as to make us incapable of doing bad things? It seems to me that Purgatory follows that kind of logic (after a certain fashion). God doesn't really reprogram us...but He will strip us of our attachments if we don't do it ourselves, because He isn't going to tolerate in Heaven any of the nonsense He lets us get away with here. The question that remains is whether there would be anything good in us after the purging (and we know where we go if there wouldn't be).

But even that sounds a little off-putting. Maybe it's better to think of Purgatory less like Hell-lite and more like Heaven's orientation class...

Assuming, gentle reader, that we can distinguish between orientation classes and Hell-lite.

Posted by Peter Terp on November 7, 2006 at 08:22 AM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

November 06, 2006

Lunch Break

It's almost as if Jorge Cham has a window into my life over at PhD Comics...


Yep. That's pretty much every lunch break I take on this campus.

Posted by Peter Terp on November 6, 2006 at 02:26 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

I Don't Trust Numbers

So, I don't know who to believe when I read things about who is ahead in the polls for the elections. On one hand, it seems to me like most news media wants the nation to think that the majority is in favor of leftist politics in order to invigorate the left. Why would anyone go to vote if they thought their party was doomed to failure? By telling the left that it is on the road to victory, it might stimulate otherwise pessimistic people to vote. On the other hand, by telling the left that it is a shoe-in, the media might be inadvertantly reinforcing complacency in the left. If so many other liberals are already voting for Democrats that it seems like a landslide, then why bother voting? Worse yet (for the left), the attempt to demoralize the right might backfire for the liberal media. The intent might be to rally the left and depress the right, but it might actually be doing more to invigorate the right and undermine the will to power of the left. For instance, I am, by nature, a fairly lazy voter. But I'm making sure that I stroll down to the polls tomorrow to throw my gage down in favor of life issues...merely because the news media has so scared me into thinking that the left might rise to power. And, of course, life issues opens up another can of worms...that is, if the left really wanted to win some votes from the right, they'd shut up about the war and start putting some more pro-lifers on their ticket.

Posted by Peter Terp on November 6, 2006 at 10:18 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 01, 2006

Halloween origins

From Fr. Augustine Thompson, O.P.  This sounds the most plausible and complete of any such account I've read; not that I am such a huge expert, but that it makes the most sense based on what I know of how the Church works and the nature and geographic distribution of Halloween celebrations today.

Posted by Thomas A. on November 1, 2006 at 11:30 AM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack