Sure, evolution as such is not to be found in the book containing what God gave Moses as an explanation of origins suitable for illiterate nomads. No, and beer is not mentioned in the Bible either, though man has been making it for about twelve centuries.
Bishop Tikhon of San Francisco, Los Angeles and the West

«— Winds of Change
—» More Reconstruction

Southern Heritage

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As a tribute to one of the South’s noble children, Dr. Martin Luther King, I wish to point your attention to some historical trivia via Fr. John Whiteford (hat tip: Raphael): “Before Rosa Parks refused to go the back of the bus…” Indeed, General Lee knew what to do.

And that, my friends, is why I am proud of my Southern heritage.

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Filed under: — Basil @ 8:21 pm

«— Translate, or Why English is Just as Good
—» Southern Heritage

Winds of Change

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“Your site’s broken!”

If you are using any version of Microsoft Internet Explorer, this site is now quite plain. You may even be thinking, “It’s broken!” It is not broken; it simply has no stylesheet to make it pretty. Also, only Explorer users will see the “Get Firefox” icon from now on. It was just taking up too much real estate, but Explorer users really do need to get it.

Now. Go. Go get it. You risk a great deal of insecurity by waiting. So, get Firefox now.

I’m not being mean. I will be updating the design for the website in upcoming days, and I have tried to decide how best to circumvent the IE problem. The problem is, IE cares not about standards. The web has standards which are developed by consensus, and most browsers support them more or less completely. This is quite a hamstring for designers. We are now in this bind: design for the other browsers on the market, or design for the behemoth in Redmond.

I have decided against designing for the beast. However, I will eventually provide a fairly simple stylesheet specifically for Microsoft users. For now, the site should continue to be readable. Yes, I know about the logo colliding with the title. I will fix that in time, too.

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Filed under: — Basil @ 5:08 pm

«— Great Blessings
—» Winds of Change

Translate, or Why English is Just as Good

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For some reason, this year I’ve seen twice mentioned the tradition of Saint Basil’s bread. I should get excited over a tradition associated with my name day and namesake, but I confess, the fact that everyone keeps referring to it as Vassilópita has dampened my interest. It makes it sound like some exotic, ethnic custom that is completely irrelevant to me as an Orthodox Christian in the United States.

Why must people use a Greek word when an English translation is easily used? Certainly, some words really do not translate well. Most of our liturgical words for the various types of hymns fall into this category. Yet, “prokeimenon” seems gratuitous when “gradual” will do just fine. Some people complain that, because they do not come from a liturgical background, this is just as foreign as “prokeimenon,” preferring a Greek liturgical word to an English liturgical word. I, for one, am not anxious to see perfectly good English liturgical terminology fade into obsoletion simply because somebody thinks Greek is better. Sounds like the people Ss. Cyril and Methodius were facing back in the day.

As far as the names for hymns go, I think it would be a good idea to append the word “hymn” to most of these. At least then, people would know they were hymns; it would not be so distancing for inquirers. Also, it would eliminate the pernicious plural problem: “troparion hymns” would be correct; no one would have to learn that “troparion” is made plural as “troparia.” (As an added benefit, I would have one less big, red, liturgical hot-button if the pernicious plural problem were dismissed.)

Besides, when everyone defaults to using Greek, it’s not easy to see why we don’t just go back to “Doxa Patri kai etc.” and “Sophia! Proskomen!” and all the rest.

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Filed under: — Basil @ 11:43 pm

«— Poetry
—» Translate, or Why English is Just as Good

Great Blessings

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Priest David blesses the faithful with incenseTheophany in Connecticut was observed by God himself, who blessed us with waters from heaven, a wintry mix of gently falling snow and freezing drizzle, which made it inadvisable to attend the Liturgy commemorating his self-revelation as Trinity this day.

However, my family at St. Athanasius in Kentucky celebrated with a procession to a local park. Dmitri hosts the photos.

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Filed under: — Basil @ 8:29 pm

«— I Beg Your Pardon for My Asocial Attitude
—» Great Blessings

Poetry

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As if we were distinct, she whispered” — I cannot tell if it is really a poem, or merely a fragment waiting to be completed. It is shorter than “The Red Wheelbarrow,” by William Carlos Williams, by only one line, so I know its completeness depends not upon its length. Perhaps the image it paints waits upon its own completion.

I realize, looking at my poems, that I should:

  1. write more of them, and more often
  2. provide dates for them, since I cannot remember when I wrote some of them
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Filed under: — Basil @ 8:21 pm

«— Rearview
—» Poetry

I Beg Your Pardon for My Asocial Attitude

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icon of St Basil the Great and the Circumcision of the LordI wish I could wish you a happy St. Basil’s day, but I am quite tired and depressed right now. In fact, I am tired of being depressed, and I have nothing to say except to beg for the intercessions of Ss. Basil and Emily. Perhaps I should be asking the prayers of St. Basil the Elder, as well.

On a lighter note, that is one groovy icon, no? Something about the confluence of the two commemorations recorded in a single icon really grabs me whenever I see it. If there were some place to buy a reproduction of it, I would get it for St. Athanasius in a minute.

By the way, I’m listening to Scarlet’s Walk by Tori Amos. It is really rather good; it reminds me why I loved Tori’s music to begin with back with Little Earthquakes and Under the Pink, and yet there is a maturity in it, too.

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Filed under: — Basil @ 3:06 pm