Daily Update: Wednesday, November 2nd, 2016

All Souls Day, by William Bouguereau

Today is the Feast of All Souls.

On All Souls Day the Roman Catholic Church remembers all who have died (who are not Saints, who were honored yesterday). The Roman Catholic celebration is associated with the doctrine that the souls of the faithful who at death have not been cleansed from the temporal punishment due to venial sins and from attachment to mortal sins cannot immediately attain the beatific vision in heaven, and that they may be helped to do so by prayer and by the sacrifice of the Mass. In other words, when they died, they had not yet attained full sanctification and moral perfection, a requirement for entrance into Heaven. This sanctification is carried out posthumously in Purgatory. Historically, the Western tradition identifies the general custom of praying for the dead dating as far back as 2 Maccabees 12:42-46. The custom of setting apart a special day for intercession for certain of the faithful on November 2nd was first established by St. Odilo of Cluny (d. 1048) at his abbey of Cluny in 998. From Cluny the custom spread to the other houses of the Cluniac order, which became the largest and most extensive network of monasteries in Europe. The celebration was soon adopted in several dioceses in France, and spread throughout the Western Church. It was accepted in Rome only in the fourteenth century.

We woke up at 6:00 am at the Hampton Inn in Vernon, Texas. I did my Book Devotional Reading, and we ate the Continental breakfast and read the USA Today. In the first College Football Playoff standings, our LSU Tigers are ranked #13.

Leaving the motel at 7:00 am and heading north and west, I did my Internet Devotional Reading. We passed a prairie dog town, and at 9:15 am saw our first bison. I read a local newspaper, and at 11:00 am I put on my sweater, as it was 59°. We saw a tumbleweed at 11:00 am, and I read the November 2016 issue of Consumer Reports. I then continued reading Trace by Patricia Cornwell via Overdrive on my tablet. Richard and I then continued listening to Audiobook of The Gangster by Clive Cussler and Justin Scott, Read by Scott Brick. At 11:45 am CDT we reached New Mexico send Mountain Daylight Time. We saw pronghorn antelope at 11:15 MDT, reached Colorado at 12:30 pm, and at 12:45 pm I put on my sneakers.

At 2:30 pm we reached Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve in Mosca, Colorado 20161102_143314. I got four stamps for my National Parks Explorer Edition Passport book, and Richard and I watched the movie at the Visitor Center. We got t-shirts, and I got a lapel line for Liz Ellen (they were out of hiking staff medallions) . We then drove to the picnic area and took photos; 20161102_153841 we opted not to climb any very high dunes. We left my 170th National Park at 4:00 pm .

We checked in at the Best Western in Buena Vista, Colorado at 6:00 pm, and started watching Game 7 of the World Series.

20161102_185034 Our New Orleans Pelicans lost their away NBA game with the Memphis Grizzlies in overtime by the score of 83 to 89; our Pelicans will next play a home game with the Phoenix Suns on Friday, November 4th. And as soon as the baseball game ends, I will go to bed.

Tomorrow is the Optional Memorial of Saint Martin de Porres, Religious (died 1639). We will see Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument, then head for Denver.

Our Parting Quote on this All Souls Day comes to us from Clifford Nass, American communications professor and author. Born in 1958 in Teaneck, New Jersey, his parents formed New Jersey’s first Mothers Against Drunk Driving chapter after Nass’s older brother was killed by a drunk driver in 1981. That same year Nass earned a B.A. cum laude in mathematics from Princeton University. He then conducted research in the areas of computer graphics, data structures and database design for IBM and Intel before returning to Princeton for graduate school. He got his M.A. and Ph.D. in sociology from Princeton in 1986, and joined the faculty at Stanford University. Nass was the Thomas M. Storke Professor at Stanford and held courtesy appointments in Computer Science, Education, Law, and Sociology. He was also affiliated with the programs in Symbolic Systems and Science, Technology, and Society. He was also the director of Stanford’s Revs automotive program, as well as director of the university’s Communications between Humans and Interactive Media lab, and co-director of the Center for Automotive Research at Stanford. In 1986 he wrote, with Byron Reeves, The Media Equation: How People Treat Computers, Television, and New Media Like Real People and Places. He wrote Wired for Speech: How Voice Activates and Advances the Human-Computer Relationship in 2005. Nass’s last book, The Man Who Lied to His Laptop: What Machines Teach Us About Human Relationships, was written in 2010 (died 2013): “Most academics, including myself, kept seeing [multi-tasking] as an aberration. You’d see someone multitasking and go, ‘Ha ha ha, those wacky college kids — OK, they’ll grow out of it.’ And then you start looking around and go, ‘Wait a minute, they’re growing into it, not out of it.’ Little kids are growing up with it. Older people are being stuck with it. We could essentially be undermining the thinking ability of our society. We could essentially be dumbing down the world.”

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