Daily Update: Wednesday, November 25th, 2015

Catherine of Alexandria by Caravaggio

Today is the Optional Memorial of Saint Catherine of Alexandria, Virgin and Martyr (died about 305).

Legend holds that Saint Catherine was born to the nobility of Alexandria; she was learned in science and oratory, and converted to Christianity after receiving a vision. When she was eighteen years old, during the persecution of Maximinus, she offered to debate the pagan philosophers. Many were converted by her arguments and immediately martyred. Maximinus had her scourged and imprisoned. The empress and the leader of the army of Maximinus were amazed by the stories, went to see Catherine in prison, were converted and were promptly martyred. Maximinus ordered her broken on the wheel, but she touched it and the wheel was destroyed. She was beheaded, and her body whisked away by angels. Immensely popular during the Middle Ages as one of the Fourteen Holy Helpers, there were many chapels and churches devoted to her throughout western Europe, and she was reported as one of the divine advisers to Saint Joan of Arc. Her feast was removed from the church calendar in 1969, due to doubts about her historical existence, but she was restored to the calendar in 2002 (possibly out of a reluctance to deem one of of Joan of Arc’s advisers as non-historical). She is the Patron Saint of unmarried girls, apologists, craftsmen who work with a wheel (potters, spinners, knife sharpeners), lawyers, librarians and libraries, hat-makers, nurses, philosophers, theologians, and of the University of Paris.

Last night, with the issuance of the latest College Football Playoff rankings, it is now official that our LSU Football Team is now unranked. And our #22 ranked LSU Men’s Basketball team lost their away game with North Carolina State by the score of 72 to 83 in overtime; our Tigers will take a break over Thanksgiving, and play an away game with Charleston on November 30th.

I woke up at 9:00 am, and Richard made a trip to Dollar General for cat food. I started the Weekly Computer Maintenance, then started my laundry and did my Bathroom Devotional Reading. I then ate a very light breakfast of toast (using the last of the bread) and read the morning paper, then did my Internet Devotional Reading. I then finished the Weekly Computer Maintenance and did the Weekly Virus Scan.

At 1:00 pm Richard and I left the house. Our first stop was to leave off the two in-town bill payments, then we ate lunch at D.C.’s Sports Bar and Steakhouse. (They did come and take our order promptly – Richard had seen and talked to the owner the other day – but they brought me sweet ice tea instead of unsweet.) At the Hit-n-Run I purchased my Powerball and Louisiana Lotto lottery tickets for tonight’s drawing, and left off my chain to have the clasp repaired at Chris’s Designs. At Verizon they did not have Black Ice screen protectors for Richard’s Galaxy S-4. At Wal-Mart I set up our yearly appointments at the Wal-Mart Vision Center for Thursday, December 17th and purchased two pairs of sneakers, and we got my salad supplies , Thanksgiving supplies, and other groceries, using my $15.00 Wal-Mart Gift Card from the casino. I also missed a call from Chris’s Designs, so I figured my chain clasp was ready. We stopped by and picked up my chain, and at the rectory I got the 2016 Religious Calendar (two copies, one for me and one for Liz Ellen).

Arriving home at 3:15 pm, I finished my laundry, and Michelle sent a text asking what she should bring tomorrow. (I told her just to bring herself, and Cody (if he is not working), and if she wants to make Green Bean Casserole, we have everything for that here.) I then watched Jeopardy!, and the Full Moon arrived at 4:45 pm. I then ironed my casino pants, apron, and shirts. Next, I got on the computer and did a few Advance Daily Update Drafts, through Thursday of next week. And I am now eating my lunch salad that I did not eat yesterday for my dinner, and once I finish this Daily Update I will take a bath and do some reading. Our New Orleans Pelicans will be playing an away game with the Phoenix Suns tonight, and I will post the score of the game in tomorrow’s Daily Update.

Tomorrow is the Optional Memorial of Saint John Berchmans, Religious (died 1621). And tomorrow is Thanksgiving Day. At the casino, if we were working it would be a day for us to get time-and-a-half pay; tomorrow also begins the three-day Thanksgiving Heavy Business Volume Day period, when all call-ins and tardies count for two points instead of the usual one point. I will put out the flag in honor of the Federal Holiday, and after we get the turkey in the oven we will go over to Ken and Lisa’s to drink wine and to see Callie and the baby. We will then come back home and have our Thanksgiving dinner with Michelle. And in the afternoon I will make my lunch salads for Friday and Sunday.

Our Parting Quote on this Wednesday evening comes to us from Peter Lipton, American philosopher. Born in 1954 in New York City into a Jewish family, he graduated from Wesleyan University in Connecticut in 1976. He went on to New College, Oxford, where he took an undergraduate philosophy degree and then a doctorate on the thesis of explanation and evidence. From 1985 to 1990 he was assistant professor at Williams College, Massachusetts. He joined the Cambridge department of History and Philosophy of Science in 1991 as an assistant lecturer, rose rapidly and was appointed to the Hans Rausing chair of the History and Philosophy of Science in 1997. His most important contribution to his field was Inference to the Best Explanation (1991), a work which analyzed the process of inferring conclusions based on available evidence, and provided an alternative account of scientific method to Popper’s theories of empirical falsification. The book is highly respected among academics for its economy, lucidity and originality and has become a modern classic. Lipton’s interests embraced not only the philosophy of science, but epistemology, the philosophy of mind, the philosophy of religion, the laws of nature and bioethics. He was an extraordinarily gifted teacher and his lectures and seminars, on such erudite subjects as the logic of induction, attracted not just those who were taking the relevant course, but others attracted by his reputation as an energetic, incisive and witty speaker. Lipton was a self-confessed “religious atheist”; he held that he could follow the customs and culture of a Jewish lifestyle, and use the teachings of Judaism to help him tackle moral problems in life, without simultaneously believing in the metaphysics of such a religion (such as the existence of God) (died 2007): ”It’s irrational to fear what death will feel like if you know it won’t feel like anything, but it doesn’t follow that it is irrational to fear death. It’s not irrational to look forward to the pleasures of living, and if we know that death will take these away, the fear of losing those pleasures doesn’t seem irrational either.”

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