Daily Update: Friday, November 25th, 2016

Catherine of Alexandria by Caravaggio and Acadian Day and Native American Heritage Day

Today is the Optional Memorial of Saint Catherine of Alexandria, Virgin and Martyr (died about 305). And, as today is the Day after Thanksgiving, it is Acadian Day (by proclamation by Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards) and Native American Heritage Day (by proclamation by President Barack Obama).

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. By proclamation by Governor John Bel Edwards, today, the day after Thanksgiving, is Acadian Day, a state holiday in Louisiana. This day remembers the arrival in Louisiana of the Acadians, many of whom settled in large southern areas of the state after being deported from Nova Scotia in 1755. In his October 24th, 2016 proclamation declaring the legal holiday for this year, Edwards proclaimed the day of rest for state employees to gather with their families and to remember their blessings and promote family values. Today is also Native American Heritage Day. In 2008 legislation was introduced and signed into law by President George W. Bush designating the day after Thanksgiving in 2008 as Native American Heritage Day to honor the achievements and contributions of Native Americans to the United States. Every year since then, the day after Thanksgiving has been designated Native American Heritage Day, with this year’s Proclamation being issued by President Barack Obama on October 31st, 2016. (So hug a Cajun and a Native American today.)

Last night our #25 ranked LSU Tigers played their last Regular Season College Football game at #22 ranked Texas A&M, beating the Aggies by the score of 54 to 39; it remains to be seen where our Tigers will go in the post-season, and also who LSU’s new head coach will be. And our LSU Tigers in a College Basketball game in Paradise Island in the Bahamas beat the Old Dominion Monarchs by the score of 66 to 60.

Upon waking up I posted to Facebook that today was Acadian Day, and posted to Facebook that today was Native American Heritage Day. I did my Book Devotional Reading, and on our way to work I did my Internet Devotional Reading. When we clocked in we signed the Early Out list, but did not get out early. Richard was the Relief Dealer for Mini Baccarat and Pai Gow, and a Blackjack table, until they took the Blackjack table off of his relief string, and I was on Three Card Poker all day. On one of his breaks Richard signed his PAN (Personnel Action Notice) giving him his 2.5% annual raise.

When we got home I ate my lunch salad and read the morning paper; I then came to the computer to do today’s Daily Update, and once I finish this Update, I will go to bed for the duration. Our LSU Lady Tigers (4-1, 0-0) are now playing a College Basketball game at St. Thomas in the Virgin Islands with the Kansas State Lady Wildcats (4-0, 0-0), our LSU Tigers (4-1, 0-0) will be playing a College Basketball game at Paradise Island in the Bahamas with the VCU Rams (4-1, 0-0), and our New Orleans Pelicans (6-10, 0-2) will be playing an Away NBA game with the Portland Trailblazers (8-9, 3-0); I will record the scores of all three games in tomorrow’s Daily Update.

Tomorrow is the Optional Memorial of Saint John Berchmans, Religious (died 1621). And Early Voting begins tomorrow for the Louisiana Open Election and Congressional Election on December 10th. Tomorrow is a Heavy Business Volume Day at the Casino for the last Carvember Drawing of the month, and the first of three Heavy Business Volume Days for the Thanksgiving Holiday. We will work our eight hours, and in the early afternoon I will do my Weekly Hour of Eucharistic Adoration at the Adoration Chapel. I will then eat lunch at McDonald’s, then go to the 4:00 pm Mass for the First Sunday of Advent. Our LSU Lady Tigers will be playing a College Basketball game at St. Thomas in the Virgin Islands with the North Carolina State Lady Wolfpack.

Our Parting Quote on this Friday afternoon 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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