Friday, March 28, 2008

Wordpress Bandwagon

I am posting over here for a while.

I know, I know. "I wouldn't exactly call that 'posting', James"

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Holy Week Schedule for Immaculate Conception, Colorado Springs

Here is the Holy Week Schedule for Immaculate Conception in Colorado Springs (staffed by the FSSP):

 Holy Week Schedule 
Thursday, March 20Holy Thursday6:00 p.m.
Friday, March 21Good Friday Stations of the Cross5:15 p.m.
 Mass of the Pre-Sanctified6:00 p.m.
Saturday, March 22Easter Vigil11:00 p.m.
Sunday, March 23Easter Sunday9:00 a.m.

Thursday, January 31, 2008

The Best Things in Life ...

Two of my favorite things have come together. Since I work in the IT industry, ThinkGeek is a must-visit site. I also enjoy the freedom of Utilikilts.

Lo, and behold! ThinkGeek is now selling Utilikilts.

And there was much rejoicing.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Duties Towards Each Other

1. The husband. According to divine ordinance the husband is the head, the king, the support of the wife and the children. St. Paul writes in the fifth chapter of the epistle to the Ephesians, “Let wives be subject to their husbands as to the Lord; because a husband is the head of the wife, just as Christ is head of the Church … Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the Church, and delivered Himself up for her …Even thus ought husbands also to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife, loves himself.” From this it is clear that the exercise of his authority is not to be severe and cold, but considerate and kind. The wife is his partner and companion, not his servant.

Married love obliges him to take good care of his wife and children. Therefore he must be industrious and saving, plan and manage wisely. No company should be dearer to him than that of his family. The man who prefers the tavern or club to his home neglects serious duties and forgoes exquisite pleasures. It would be wrong to leave domestic affairs entirely to the wife. She is entitled to cooperation and recognition. He certainly bears a large share of responsibility in maintaining a wholesome atmosphere in the home and in keeping out dangerous influences. Finally, he owes it to his wife to provide for the uncertain future as well as he can by reliable insurance.

2. The wife. She is the heart, the queen, the providence of the family. Happiness in marriage depends to a great extent on her. She should strive to be a delicious compound of sweet temper, courtesy, and self-sacrifice. Her kingdom is the home, where she reigns as queen of love, doing all in her power to make it cozy and pleasant. Many men seek outside distractions, because their wives neglect them and their homes. The wife must be reasonably economical in dress and housekeeping, see to order and cleanliness, have nourishing and well prepared meats ready at the right time, cheerfully accede to all reasonable wishes of the husband and be an example of piety. A real helpmate usually holds the affection of her husband.

My insistence on mutual love may surprise you. Does not your presence here show that you are in love with each other? Yes, but very likely your life will not be always as rosy as it is now. When the charm of living together has worn off, you will discover weaknesses and faults in each other. Even trifles are sometimes very annoying. You must be ready to make allowances and practice patience. Marriage is for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health. Think of the words of St. Paul: “Bear one another’s burden, and so you will fulfill the law of Christ.” (Gal. 6,2) If peace has been disturbed, restore it at once --- not with many words, but with a friendly handshake or hearty kiss. Forgive and forget and never speak of such painful incidents to others.

Not sure about the source, but will update when available.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Huckabee is not the Catholic Choice

Despite my initial support for Mike Huckabee, he is turning out to be a bad choice. I have been keeping abreast of Ron Paul via Catholics for Ron Paul. He seems like the best choice at this point.

See Steve's site for a more in-depth discussion.

Here is an interesting article regarding Huckabee's choice of campaign platforms:

Mike Huckabee to speak at strongly anti-Catholic preacher's church (John Hagee)

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Stem Cell Breakthrough Uses No Embryos

Long article, but worth the read ....


Stem Cell Breakthrough Uses No Embryos
Nov 20, 11:11 AM (ET)

NEW YORK (AP) - Scientists have made ordinary human skin cells take on the chameleon-like powers of embryonic stem cells, a startling breakthrough that might someday deliver the medical payoffs of embryo cloning without the controversy.

Laboratory teams on two continents report success in a pair of landmark papers released Tuesday. It's a neck-and-neck finish to a race that made headlines five months ago, when scientists announced that the feat had been accomplished in mice.

The "direct reprogramming" technique avoids the swarm of ethical, political and practical obstacles that have stymied attempts to produce human stem cells by cloning embryos.

Scientists familiar with the work said scientific questions remain and that it's still important to pursue the cloning strategy, but that the new work is a major coup.

"This work represents a tremendous scientific milestone - the biological equivalent of the Wright Brothers' first airplane," said Dr. Robert Lanza, chief science officer of Advanced Cell Technology, which has been trying to extract stem cells from cloned human embryos.

"It's a bit like learning how to turn lead into gold," said Lanza, while cautioning that the work is far from providing medical payoffs.

"It's a huge deal," agreed Rudolf Jaenisch, a prominent stem cell scientist at the Whitehead Institute in Cambridge, Mass. "You have the proof of principle that you can do it."

There is a catch. At this point, the technique requires disrupting the DNA of the skin cells, which creates the potential for developing cancer. So it would be unacceptable for the most touted use of embryonic cells: creating transplant tissue that in theory could be used to treat diseases like diabetes, Parkinson's, and spinal cord injury.

But the DNA disruption is just a byproduct of the technique, and experts said they believe it can be avoided.

The new work is being published online by two journals, Cell and Science. The Cell paper is from a team led by Dr. Shinya Yamanaka of Kyoto University; the Science paper is from a team led by Junying Yu, working in the lab of in stem-cell pioneer James Thomson of the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Both reported creating cells that behaved like stem cells in a series of lab tests.

Thomson, 48, made headlines in 1998 when he announced that his team had isolated human embryonic stem cells.

Yamanaka gained scientific notice in 2006 by reporting that direct reprogramming in mice had produced cells resembling embryonic stem cells, although with significant differences. In June, his group and two others announced they'd created mouse cells that were virtually indistinguishable from stem cells.

For the new work, the two men chose different cell types from a tissue supplier. Yamanaka reprogrammed skin cells from the face of an unidentified 36-year-old woman, and Thomson's team worked with foreskin cells from a newborn. Thomson, who was working his way from embryonic to fetal to adult cells, said he's still analyzing his results with adult cells.

Both labs did basically the same thing. Each used viruses to ferry four genes into the skin cells. These particular genes were known to turn other genes on and off, but just how they produced cells that mimic embryonic stem cells is a mystery.

"People didn't know it would be this easy," Thomson said. "Thousands of labs in the United States can do this, basically tomorrow."

The Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation, which holds three patents for Thomson's work, is applying for patents involving his new research, a spokeswoman said. Two of the four genes he used were different from Yamanaka's recipe.

Scientists prize embryonic stem cells because they can turn into virtually any kind of cell in the body. The cloning approach - which has worked so far only in mice and monkeys - should be able to produce stem cells that genetically match the person who donates body cells for cloning.

That means tissue made from the cells should be transplantable into that person without fear of rejection. Scientists emphasize that any such payoff would be well in the future, and that the more immediate medical benefits would come from basic research in the lab.

In fact, many scientists say the cloning technique has proven too expensive and cumbersome in its current form to produce stem cells routinely for transplants.

The new work shows that the direct reprogramming technique can also produce versatile cells that are genetically matched to a person. But it avoids several problems that have bedeviled the cloning approach.

For one thing, it doesn't require a supply of unfertilized human eggs, which are hard to obtain for research and subjects the women donating them to a surgical procedure. Using eggs also raises the ethical questions of whether women should be paid for them.

In cloning, those eggs are used to make embryos from which stem cells are harvested. But that destroys the embryos, which has led to political opposition from President Bush, the Roman Catholic church and others.

Those were "show-stopping ethical problems," said Laurie Zoloth, director of Northwestern University's Center for Bioethics, Science and Society.

The new work, she said, "redefines the ethical terrain."

Richard Doerflinger, deputy director of pro-life activities for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, called the new work "a very significant breakthrough in finding morally unproblematic alternatives to cloning. ... I think this is something that would be readily acceptable to Catholics."

Another advantage of direct reprogramming is that it would qualify for federal research funding, unlike projects that seek to extract stem cells from human embryos, noted Doug Melton, co-director of the Harvard Stem Cell Institute.

Still, scientific questions remain about the cells produced by direct reprogramming, called "iPS" cells. One is how the cells compare to embryonic stem cells in their behavior and potential. Yamanaka said his work detected differences in gene activity.

If they're different, iPS cells might prove better for some scientific uses and cloned stem cells preferable for other uses. Scientists want to study the roots of genetic disease and screen potential drug treatments in their laboratories, for example.

Scottish researcher Ian Wilmut, famous for his role in cloning Dolly the sheep a decade ago, told London's Daily Telegraph that he is giving up the cloning approach to produce stem cells and plans to pursue direct reprogramming instead.

Other scientists said it's too early for the field to follow Wilmut's lead. Cloning embryos to produce stem cells remains too valuable as a research tool, Jaenisch said.

Dr. George Daley of the Harvard institute, who said his own lab has also achieved direct reprogramming of human cells, said it's not clear how long it will take to get around the cancer risk problem. Nor is it clear just how direct reprogramming works, or whether that approach mimics what happens in cloning, he noted.

So the cloning approach still has much to offer, he said.

Daley, who's president of the International Society for Stem Cell Research, said his lab is pursuing both strategies.

"We'll see, ultimately, which one works and which one is more practical."

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Blogging Without Obligation

Taken from here:

  • Because you shouldn't have to look at your blog like it is a treadmill.

  • Because its okay to just say what you have to say. If that makes for a long post, fine. Short post, fine. Frequent post, fine. Infrequent post, fine.

  • Because its okay to not always be enthralled with the sound of your own typing.

  • Because sometimes less is more.

  • Because only blogging when you feel truly inspired keeps up the integrity of your blog.

  • Because they are probably not going to inscribe your stat, link and comment numbers on your tombstone.

  • Because for most of us blogging is just a hobby. A way to express yourself and connect with others. You should not have to apologize for lapses in posts. Just take a step back and enjoy life, not everything you do has to be "bloggable".

  • Because if you blog without obligation you will naturally keep your blog around longer, because it won't be a chore. Plus, just think you will be doing your part to eradicate post pollution. One post at a time. . .