Daily Update: Saturday, April 16th, 2016

Bernadette Soubirous

Today is the Optional Memorial of Saint Bernadette Soubirous, Religious (died 1879).

Today’s Saint was born in 1844 at Lourdes, Hautes-Pyrénées, France. She was the oldest of six children in a very poor family and was hired out as a servant from age 12 to 14. On February 11th, 1858, around the time of her first Communion, she was out gathering firewood and bones with her sister and a friend at the grotto of Massabielle outside Lourdes when she had an experience that completely changed her life and the town of Lourdes where she had lived. It was on this day that Bernadette claimed she had the first of 18 visions of what she termed “a small young lady” (ua petita damisela (Classical) or uo petito damizelo (Mistralian)) standing in a niche in the rock. Her sister and her friend stated that they had seen nothing. On her next visit, she said that the “beautiful lady” asked her to return to the grotto every day for fifteen days. At first her mother was embarrassed by the attention, and tried to forbid her daughter from going to the grotto. The supposed apparition did not identify herself until the seventeenth vision, although the townspeople who believed she was telling the truth assumed she saw the Virgin Mary. Bernadette never claimed it to be Mary, calling what she saw simply “Aquerò” (“that one”). Bernadette described the lady as wearing a white veil, a blue girdle, and with a golden rose on each foot; she also held a rosary of pearls. After the apparitions ceased, she moved into a house with the Sisters of Nevers at Lourdes where she lived, worked, and learned to read and write. The sisters cared for the sick and indigent, and at age 22 they admitted Bernadette into their order since she was both. Always sick herself, and often mistreated by her superiors (who assumed she must be vainglorious about the apparitions), she died with a prayer for Mary’s aid on her lips. She is the Patron Saint of Lourdes, France, of shepherds and shepherdesses, and of people ridiculed for their faith, and her aid is invoked against poverty and bodily illness.

I did my Book Devotional Reading, and on our way to work I did my Internet Devotional Reading. Before we clocked in at work I did my Daily Update for yesterday, Friday, April 15th, 2016 via WordPress for Android. At the Pre-Shift Meeting I won a Golden Ticket, entitling the holder to be first on the Early Out list on whichever day the holder chooses to use it. When we headed out to the casino floor, Richard was the Relief Dealer for Mini Baccarat and Pai Gow; he also broke a Blackjack table in one of our Overflow pits (once, near the beginning of our shift) and broke the Sit-Down Blackjack table (twice, near the end of our shift). I was on Pai Gow, but switched with the dealer on Mini Baccarat for the last couple of hours of our shift. On my breaks I continued reading Beneath a Marble Sky by John Shors.

Once home from work I set up my medications for next week (I have three prescriptions to renew on Monday at the Pharmacy), and read the morning paper. I then went to the Adoration Chapel for my Weekly Hour of Eucharistic Adoration; during my Hour I started reading the April 4th-April 11th, 2016 issue of my America magazine. When I got home at about 2:30 pm I decided to do my Daily Update, and then go to bed for the rest of the day. Our #9 ranked LSU Tigers are playing the second game of a three-game away Baseball series with Missouri this afternoon; I will post the score of the game in tomorrow’s Daily Update.

Tomorrow is the Fourth Sunday of Easter (Alleluia!), also known as Good Shepherd Sunday. Tomorrow is also the World Day of Prayer for Vocations. Richard and I will head to the casino for the middle day of our work week and the last day of the two-week pay period, and on my breaks I will continue reading Beneath a Marble Sky by John Shors. In the afternoon we will meet up with Callie, Kitten, Michelle, and perhaps Cody to treat them to dinner. And our #9 ranked LSU Tigers will be playing the third game of their three-game away series with Missouri on Sunday afternoon.

Our Parting Quote on this Saturday afternoon comes to us from Edward N. Lorenz, American mathematician and meteorologist. Born in 1917 in West Hartford, Connecticut, he studied mathematics at both Dartmouth College in New Hampshire and Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts. From 1942 until 1946 he served as a weather forecaster for the United States Army Air Corps. After his return from the war he decided to study meteorology and earned a master’s degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1943 and a doctoral degree from the same institution in 1948. He then joined the staff of the Meteorological Department at MIT in 1948. During the 1950s Lorenz became skeptical of the appropriateness of the linear statistical models in meteorology, as most atmospheric phenomena involved in weather forecasting were non-linear. While researching this issue he became a an assistant professor at MIT in 1955 and was promoted to full professor in 1962. His work culminated in the publication of his 1963 paper Deterministic Nonperiodic Flow in the Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences, and with it, the foundation of Chaos Theory. The publication of Lorenz’s paper in 1963 did not immediately attract attention beyond his own field. In 1972 he gave a paper (for which he had not decided on a title) at the 139th meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and, according to Lorenz, his talk was billed as “Predictability: Does the flap of a butterfly’s wings in Brazil set off a tornado in Texas?”. By the mid-1970s, with the rise of similar work by Bernard Mandelbrot and others, the term, “butterfly effect” had become a subject of debate which seemed to affect a wide range of academic disciplines, and Lorenz’s paper began to be cited regularly. Late in his career, he found himself an unexpectedly fashionable figure within the academy. Lorenz was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 1975, became head of the Meteorological Department at MIT in 1977 (a post he held until 1981), and in 1983 he shared the $50,000 Crafoord Prize of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, established to recognize fields not eligible for Nobel Prizes. In 1987 he became Emeritus Professor of Meteorology at MIT. In 1991 he received the Kyoto Prize for earth and planetary sciences. He was an avid outdoorsman, who enjoyed hiking, climbing, and cross-country skiing. Lorenz kept up with these pursuits until very late in his life, and managed to continue most of his regular activities until only a few weeks before his death (died 2008): “We should not be too quick to conclude that we have all the information needed for one purpose or another when we have records, even if lengthy ones, of only a few variables.”

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