Today is the Twenty-First Sunday in Ordinary Time, and the Memorial of Saint Pius X, Pope (died 1914). And the Games of the XXXI Olympiad in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, conclude today.
Born as Giuseppe Melchiorre Sarto in 1835 in Riese, Austria (now Italy), today’s Saint was one of eight children of an impoverished village cobbler. He early felt a calling to the priesthood, and studied at the seminary of Padua, Italy, becoming known as an exceptional student. Ordained a priest in 1858, he steadily moved up in the Church hierarchy, becoming Bishop of Mantua, Italy in 1884. He was created Cardinal-Priest of Saint Bernardo alle Terme in 1893, and three days later was named Patriarch of Venice. He was chosen as the 257th pope in 1903, taking the name Pius X. He destroyed the last vestiges of Jansenism by advocating frequent and even daily Communion, and lowered the age of first Communion from age twelve or fourteen to age seven. He reformed the liturgy, promoted clear and simple homilies, and brought Gregorian chant back to services. He also reorganized the Roman curia and the other administrative elements of the Church, revised the Breviary, and and revised the teaching of the Catechism. He fought Modernism, which he denounced as “the summation of all heresies,” and worked against the modern antagonism of the state against the Church. His will read: “I was born poor; I lived poor; I wish to die poor.” He was canonized in 1954, and is the Patron Saint of pilgrims, of the Patriarchate of Venice, and of first communicants. The Games of the XXXI Olympiad in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, conclude today. There is Gold Medal competition in Athletics, Basketball, Boxing, Cycling (Mountain Biking), Gymnastics (Rhythmic), Handball, Volleyball (Indoor), and Wrestling, and the games end with the Closing Ceremonies. We will then wait for the Games of the XXXII Olympiad in Tokyo, Japan, in 2020.
I woke up late today, and did not do my Book Devotional Reading. Our New Orleans Saints lost their away preseason NFL game (the second of four) with the Houston Texans by the score of 9 to 16; our Saints will next play their third preseason NFL game at home with the Pittsburgh Steelers on Friday, August 26th. And I missed two calls (one of which went to voice mail from Nedra; she has to go back into surgery on Monday.
When we got to work, I got up from the table in ADR to get something else to eat, forgot that my phone was plugged into my charger, and knocked everything over on the table where Richard and I were eating. I apologized, but Richard got mad at me and yelled at me that I was just like one of our regular guests at the casino. Said guest is one that Richard hates and despises; so Richard either thinks that I talk too much, or that I am either a brain-damaged or off-one’s-medications a–hole, or that he wishes that I would drive and wreck and die. Then he accused me of being childish for being upset. When we clocked in, Richard was on Mini Baccarat, and I was on Pai Gow; on my first break I took one of my Xanax© because I was so upset. In the AP Preseason College Football Polls, LSU is ranked #5. On my last break I took another Xanax© to help me deal with whatever might happen on our way home.
On our way home Richard never said a word to me, and I certainly was not going to say anything. I sent a text to Nedra telling her that I was sorry that I was sleeping when she called, and that she was and would be in my prayers tomorrow. Once home I made my lunch salads for tomorrow and Tuesday; Richard came to the kitchen and said, “I don’t know if it will do any good, but I’m sorry if I hurt your this morning.” So far as I am concerned, a conditional “if” apology is worse than no apology at all, especially since Richard knows that he did indeed hurt me very badly. I ate one of the fresh lunch salads and read the Sunday papers, and I am now doing today’s Daily Update. When I finish this update I will go to bed. But I have set up my phone differently; instead of turning off all of my sounds except for my Alarms, I have set up the Do Not Disturb feature, which will allow through alarms, texts and calls from people on my Favorite Contacts list, and anyone who calls twice in a fifteen minute period.
Tomorrow is the Memorial of the Queenship of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Richard and I will return to the casino for the start of our two week pay period (whatever else is falling apart in my life (waiting on a biopsy to see if I have cancer – again – , coming within an hour of so of calling in on Friday morning and taking a point and going to the emergency room for my esophageal dysphagia, missing an important text from Michelle on Friday night, missing Nedra’s important calls on Saturday night, and Richard comparing me to a guest he hates and despises), we still have to go to work and make our salaries). After 9:00 am I will call the Breast Center of Acadiana in Lafayette to set up an appointment for my yearly mammogram for sometime after September 9th, and calling the Pharmacy to see if they have my prescriptions called in by my Ob/Gyn ready yet, and calling my Ob/Gyn to see if they have the results on my biopsy. Nedra will be going into surgery again, and I will send her a text once we get out of work to see how things are going with her. I am not calling the lab in Texas about the bill they sent us; they can send another couple of statements, and (although Richard does not like me to do so), I will continue ordering our free credit reports, and if the bill from the lab shows up on any of our free credit reports, I will contact our lawyer.
After lunch I plan to work on organizing books and bookcases, and doing my Daily Update.
Our Parting Quote on this Sunday afternoon comes to us from William Thurston, American mathematician. Born in 1946 in Washington, D.C., he received his bachelors degree from New College (now New College of Florida) in 1967. For his undergraduate thesis he developed an intuitionist foundation for topology. Following this, he earned a doctorate in mathematics from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1972. His Ph.D. advisor was Morris W. Hirsch and his dissertation was on Foliations of Three-Manifolds which are Circle Bundles. After completing his Ph.D., he spent a year at the Institute for Advanced Study, then another year at MIT as Assistant Professor. His early work, in the early 1970s, was mainly in foliation theory (a foliation is a geometric device used to study manifolds, which are topological spaces that near each point resemble Euclidean space). In fact, Thurston resolved so many outstanding problems in foliation theory in such a short period of time that it led to a kind of exodus from the field, with advisors counseling students against going into foliation theory because Thurston was “cleaning out the subject”. In 1974 he was appointed Professor of Mathematics at Princeton University. His later work, starting around the mid-1970s, revealed that hyperbolic geometry played a far more important role in the general theory of 3-manifolds than was previously realized. The geometrization theorem has been called Thurston’s Monster Theorem, due to the length and difficulty of the proof. Complete proofs were not written up until almost 20 years later. In 1981 he announced the orbifold theorem, an extension of his geometrization theorem to the setting of 3-orbifolds. Two teams of mathematicians around 2000 finally finished their efforts to write down a complete proof, based mostly on Thurston’s lectures given in the early 1980s in Princeton. In 1991 he returned to UC-Berkeley as Professor of Mathematics and in 1993 became Director of the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute. In 1996 he moved to University of California, Davis. In 2003 he became Professor of Mathematics at Cornell University. In later years Thurston widened his attention to include mathematical education and bringing mathematics to the general public. He has served as mathematics editor for Quantum Magazine, a youth science magazine, and as head of The Geometry Center. As director of Mathematical Sciences Research Institute from 1992 to 1997, he initiated a number of programs designed to increase awareness of mathematics among the public. In 2005 Thurston won the first AMS Book Prize, for Three-dimensional Geometry and Topology. The prize “recognizes an outstanding research book that makes a seminal contribution to the research literature”. In 2012 Thurston was awarded the Leroy P Steele Prize by the AMS for seminal contribution to research. The citation described his work as having “revolutionized 3-manifold theory”. In mathematics the Erdős number describes the “collaborative distance” between a person and mathematician Paul Erdős, as measured by authorship of mathematical papers; Thurston has an Erdös number of 2 (died 2013): “Many people have an impression that mathematics is an austere and formal subject concerned with complicated and ultimately confusing rules for the manipulation of numbers, symbols, and equations, rather like the preparation of a complicated income tax return. Good mathematics is quite opposite to this. Mathematics is an art of human understanding. … Our brains are complicated devices, with many specialized modules working behind the scenes to give us an integrated understanding of the world. Mathematical concepts are abstract, so it ends up that there are many different ways they can sit in our brains. A given mathematical concept might be primarily a symbolic equation, a picture, a rhythmic pattern, a short movie — or best of all, an integrated combination of several different representations.”