Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Dies Natalis Solis Invicti

Sol Invictus ("Unconquered Sun") was the Roman state-supported sun god created by the emperor Aurelian in 274 and continued, overshadowing other Eastern cults in importance until the abolition of paganism under Theodosius I. Although known as a god, the term "Unconquered Sun God' is not found on any Roman document.

The Romans held a festival on December 25 of Dies Natalis Solis Invicti, "the birthday of the unconquered sun." December 25 was the date after the winter solstice, with the first detectable lengthening of daylight hours.

The title Sol Invictus had also been applied to a number of other solar deities before and during this period. The type of Sol Invictus, though not the name, appears on imperial coinage from the time of Septimius Severus onwards.

Though many Oriental cults were practiced informally among the Roman legions from the mid-second century, only that of Sol Invictus was officially accepted and prescribed for the army.

Sol Invictus ("unconquered sun") was a religious title applied to at least three distinct divinities during the later Roman Empire: the aniconic Elagabalus local to Emesa, put forward (unsuccessfully) as the head of the official pantheon by his namesake emperor; to Mithras; and to Sol.

There was an earlier, agrarian cult of Sol Indiges ("the native sun" or "the invoked sun" - the etymology and meaning of the word "indiges" is disputed).

Whether the 'Sol Invictus' festival has a "claim on the responsibility" for the date of Christmas (Catholic Encyclopedia (1908)) has been called into question by Joseph Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI, who challenged this theory by arguing that a December 25th date was determined simply by calculating nine months beyond March 25th, regarded as the day of Jesus’ conception (the Feast of the Annunciation). Problematically for Ratzinger, the human gestational period is not nine months, but in a range between 38 and 42 weeks. However, just as Christmas coincides with the winter solstice, the March 25th date neatly coincides with the vernal equinox, and its pagan ritual themes of fertility and sexual congress with nature, that were later associated with Christianity and Jesus. Other recent Christian commentators also agree that the identification of Christ's birthday pre-dates the Sol Invictus festival, noting the earliest record of the celebration of Christ's birthday on December 25 dates to 243 A.D. December 25 is 4 days after the winter solstice (from latin solstitium, "the sun stays still"), and in this period the days start becoming longer and the nights start becoming shorter. So, December 25 could have been chosen as the day of the rebirth of the sun. Some Christians accept the idea that Sol Invictus may be behind the date of Christmas, with the idea that the early church "baptized" the holiday by imbuing it with a new, Christian meaning. In the 5th c., Pope Leo I (the Great) spoke of this in several sermons on the Feast of the Nativity. Here is an excerpt from his 26th sermon:

But this Nativity which is to be adored in heaven and on earth is suggested to us by no day more than this when, with the early light still shedding its rays on nature, there is borne in upon our senses the brightness of this wondrous mystery.

But this sermon was not in any way related to Sol Invictus directly.

In his 22nd sermon, he directly addressed those who attributed the Nativity to Sol Invictus:

Having therefore so confident a hope, dearly beloved, abide firm in the Faith in which you are built: lest that same tempter whose tyranny over you, Christ has already destroyed, win you back again with any of his wiles, and mar even the joys of the present festival by his deceitful art, misleading simpler souls with the pestilential notion of some to whom this our solemn feast day seems to derive its honour, not so much from the nativity of Christ as, according to them, from the rising of the new sun . Such men's hearts are wrapped in total darkness, and have no growing perception of the true Light: for they are still drawn away by the foolish errors of heathendom, and because they cannot lift the eyes of their mind above that which their carnal sight beholds, they pay divine honour to the luminaries that minister to the world.

In this sermon, Pope Leo I clearly establishes that the two feasts were held on the same day, but that they are also not related.

Solar symbolism was popular with early Christian writers. This is also apparent in the prayers and hymns of the Church, such as the Eastern Orthodox Troparion of the Nativity:

Thy birth, O Christ our God, rose upon the world as the light of knowledge; for through it those who worshipped the stars were taught by a star to adore Thee, the Sun of Righteousness, and to know Thee, the Sunrise from on high. O Lord, glory to Thee.

According to the New Catholic Encyclopedia, 1967, article on Constantine the Great:

"Besides, the Sol Invictus had been adopted by the Christians in a Christian sense, as demonstrated in the Christ as Apollo-Helios in a mausoleum (c. 250) discovered beneath St. Peter's in the Vatican."

Indeed "...from the beginning of the 3rd century "Sun of Justice" appears as a title of Christ". Some consider this to be in opposition to Sol Invictus. Some see an allusion to Malachi 4:2.

The date for Christmas may also bear a relation to the sun worship. According to the scholiast on the Syriac bishop Jacob Bar-Salibi, writing in the twelfth century:

"It was a custom of the Pagans to celebrate on the same 25 December the birthday of the Sun, at which they kindled lights in token of festivity. In these solemnities and revelries the Christians also took part. Accordingly when the doctors of the Church perceived that the Christians had a leaning to this festival, they took counsel and resolved that the true Nativity should be solemnised on that day." (cited in "Christianity and Paganism in the Fourth to Eighth Centuries", Ramsay MacMullen. Yale:1997, p155) However, this statement directly conflicts with what we know of the early Christians, namely, that they were ridiculed, tortured and cast apart from operative society precisely because they would not participate in the pagan feasts and celebrations. The early Christians set themselves directly in opposition to the paganism which ruled the day. "Since Christians worshipped an invisible God, pagans often declared them to be atheists." (cited in "The Story of Christianity, volume 1, The Early Church to the Dawn of the Reformation", HarperCollins Publishers, 1984, p36)

This pagan feast is first documented only in the Chronography of 354, which also contains the earliest certain reference to 25 December as the feast of the birth of Christ.


Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Texas [75287]

Screen shot 12.22.08, 3:00 P.M.


Monday, December 22, 2008

Développement arrêté


Friday, December 19, 2008

M. Ciel Bleu

From one of the most brilliant movies I've ever seen, Martian Child (and I have seen many) a video has been made with the films un-official theme song "Mr. Blue Sky" by ELO. If you haven't seen this movie yet, do. Especially if you've ever felt that urge to be a parent under difficult or impossible circumstances.


Thursday, December 18, 2008

Un autre Clou pour Mon Coeur

The case was pulled from under the bed
She made a call to a sympathetic friend and made arrangements
The door was closed, there was a note
I couldn't be bothered, maybe I'll choke, no more engagements
With where-have-you-beens and far away frowns
Trying to be good by not being 'round

And here in the bar, the piano man's found
Another nail for my heart

That stupid old bug that kills only love
I want to be good, is that not enough

So play me the song that makes it so tough
Another nail for my heart

I had excuses, those little boy lies
That she computed by watching my eyes and told me firmly
She couldn't stand it, I'm bad on her heart
She dropped her make-up and I found the bar, now it concerns me
I've had a bad time, now love is resigned
I've been such a fool, I've loved and goodbyed

So here in the bar, the piano man's found
Another nail for my heart


Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Peu réaliste

According to relationship experts at Heriot Watt University in Edinburgh, romantic comedies give people unrealistic ideas about love and sex, and cause them to "fail to communicate with their partner." Here's more:

Psychologists at the family and personal relationships laboratory at the university studied 40 top box office hits between 1995 and 2005, and identified common themes which they believed were unrealistic.

The university's Dr. Bjarne Holmes said: "Marriage counselors often see couples who believe that sex should always be perfect, and if someone is meant to be with you then they will know what you want without you needing to communicate it. We now have some emerging evidence that suggests popular media play a role in perpetuating these ideas in people's minds. The problem is that while most of us know that the idea of a perfect relationship is unrealistic, some of us are still more influenced by media portrayals than we realize."

Do you think this is true? Is real-life romance a big ol' letdown? Sure, lots of people like the idea of a perfect man or "happily ever after," but does that mean we're all unable to separate fantasy from reality?

Matthew 25:41 - discedite a me maledicti in ignem æternum

Matthew 25:41 - Depart from me, you cursed, into everlasting fire,

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Me prendre à la maison

Take me home
you silly girl
put your arms around me
take me home
you silly girl
all the world's not round without you

I'm so sorry that I broke your heart
please don't leave my side
take me home
you silly girl
cause I'm still in love you


Friday, December 12, 2008

Dementia Hatröss

SYDNEY (AFP) – Sarcasm may be the lowest form of wit, but Australian scientists are using it to diagnose dementia, according to research published on Friday.

Researchers at the University of New South Wales found that patients under the age of 65 suffering from frontotemporal dementia (FTD), the second most common form of dementia, cannot detect when someone is being sarcastic.

The study, described by its authors as groundbreaking, helps explain why patients with the condition behave the way they do and why, for example, they are unable to pick up their caregivers' moods, the research showed.

"This is significant because if care-givers are angry, sad or depressed, the patient won't pick this up. It is often very upsetting for family members," said John Hodges, the senior author of the paper published in "Brain".

"(FTD) patients present changes in personality and behavior. They find it difficult to interact with people, they don't pick up on social cues, they lack empathy, they make bad judgments," he told AFP.

"People with FTD become very gullible and they often part with large amounts of money," he said, adding that one in 4,000 people around the world are afflicted with the condition.

Researchers began studying the role of sarcasm in detecting FTD because it requires a patient to spot discrepancies between a person's words and the tone of their voice, Hodges said.

"One of the things about FTD patients is that they don't detect humor -- they are very bad at double meaning and a lot of humor (other than sarcasm) is based on double meaning," he said.

The research, conducted in 2006-07, put 26 sufferers of FTD and 19 Alzheimer's patients through a test in which actors acted out different scenarios using exactly the same words.

While in one scenario, the actors would deliver the lines sincerely, in others they would introduce a thick layer of sarcasm. Patients were then asked if they got the joke, Hodges said.

For example, said Hodges, if a couple were discussing a weekend away and the wife suggested bringing her mother, the husband might say: "Well, that's great, you know how much I like your mother, that will really make it a great weekend."

When the same words were delivered sarcastically and then in a neutral tone, the joke was lost on FTD patients, while the Alzheimer's patients got it.

"The patients with FTD are very literal and they take what is being said as genuine and sincere," said Hodges.

FTD, often referred to as Pick's disease, is similar to Alzheimer's in that it involves a progressive decline in mental powers over a number of years, but FTD affects different regions of the brain.

"It can be very difficult to diagnose in early stages and to separate from depression or, later on, schizophrenia or personality disorders," Hodges said.

The sarcasm test could replace some more expensive and less widely available tests for dementia, he said.

When questioned about the applicability of the test to people from countries not renowned for their appreciation of sarcasm or irony, Hodges said the test could be modified.




Tuesday, December 09, 2008

2008 vs. 2009


Monday, December 08, 2008

Informed Puritanikal Hatred

When people say "I can't for the life of me..." (how very STUPID)
When people say "I can't seem to..." (no, you CAN'T)
When people say "burger" (as opposed to hamburger or cheeseburger...lazy ass Americans)
When people say "Amazing" (like we've not run this fucking word into the ground)
When people say "I know Matt, I know" (or anything that is a statement followed by a name followed by the EXACT same statement)
When people use stupid ass pet names for sports teams, i.e.: The Pats, The Mavs, Etc.
When people use stupid ass abbreviated names for ANYTHING
When people make lists of things they don't like and make it look like they've come up with that list on their own rather than giving credit to the people who actually DID come up with the items on that list
When people make lists of things they don't like and are just as guilty if not more so of the very items on that list (you know who you are)


Thursday, December 04, 2008



We know who you are, you? (or...why nothing works for us)

Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is a psychiatric diagnosis in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV Personality Disorders 301.83) that describes a prolonged disturbance of personality function characterized by depth and variability of moods. The disorder typically involves unusual levels of instability in mood; "black and white" thinking, or "splitting"; chaotic and unstable interpersonal relationships, self-image, identity, and behavior; as well as a disturbance in the individual's sense of self. In extreme cases, this disturbance in the sense of self can lead to periods of dissociation. These disturbances can have a pervasive negative impact on many or all of the psychosocial facets of life. This includes difficulties maintaining relationships in work, home, and social settings. Attempted suicide and completed suicide are possible outcomes, especially without proper care and effective therapy. Onset of symptoms typically occurs during adolescence or young adulthood. Symptoms may persist for several years, but the majority of symptoms lessen in severity over time,with some individuals fully recovering. The mainstay of treatment is various forms of psychotherapy, although medication and other approaches may also improve symptoms.

As with other mental disorders, the causes of BPD are complex and unknown. One finding is a history of childhood trauma (possibly child sexual abuse),although researchers have suggested diverse possible causes, such as a genetic predisposition, neurobiological factors, environmental factors or brain abnormalities.The prevalence of BPD in the United States has been calculated as 1 to 3 percent of the adult population,with approximately 75% of those diagnosed being female, 25% male. It has been found to account for 20 percent of psychiatric hospitalizations. Common comorbid (co-occurring) conditions are other mental disorders such as substance abuse, depression and other mood disorders, and other personality disorders. BPD is one of four diagnoses classified as "cluster B" ("dramatic-erratic") personality disorders typified by disturbances in impulse control and emotional dysregulation, the others being narcissistic, histrionic, and antisocial personality disorders.

The term borderline, although it was used in this context as early as the 17th century, was employed by Adolph Stern in 1938 to describe a condition as being on the borderline between neurosis and psychosis. Because the term no longer reflects current thinking, there is an ongoing debate concerning whether this disorder should be renamed. There is related concern that the diagnosis stigmatizes people, usually women, and supports pejorative and discriminatory practices.

DSM-IV-TR criteria

The latest version of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV-TR), the widely-used American Psychiatric Association guide for clinicians seeking to diagnose mental illnesses, defines Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) as: "a pervasive pattern of instability of interpersonal relationships, self-image and affects, as well as marked impulsivity, beginning by early adulthood and present in a variety of contexts." BPD is classed on "Axis II", as an underlying pervasive or personality condition, rather than "Axis I" for more circumscribed mental disorders. A DSM diagnosis of BPD requires any five out of nine listed criteria to be present for a significant period of time. There are thus 256 different combinations of symptoms that could result in a diagnosis, of which 136 have been found in practice in one study. The criteria are:

1. Frantic efforts to avoid real or imagined abandonment. [Not including suicidal or self-mutilating behavior covered in Criterion 5]
2. A pattern of unstable and intense interpersonal relationships characterized by alternating between extremes of idealization and devaluation.
3. Identity disturbance: markedly and persistently unstable self-image or sense of self.
4. Impulsivity in at least two areas that are potentially self-damaging (e.g., promiscuous sex, eating disorders, binge eating, substance abuse, reckless driving). [Again, not including suicidal or self-mutilating behavior covered in Criterion 5]
5. Recurrent suicidal behavior, gestures, threats, or self-mutilating behavior such as cutting, interfering with the healing of scars (excoriation) or picking at oneself.
6. Affective instability due to a marked reactivity of mood (e.g., intense episodic dysphoria, irritability, or anxiety usually lasting a few hours and only rarely more than a few days).
7. Chronic feelings of emptiness, worthlessness.
8. Inappropriate anger or difficulty controlling anger (e.g., frequent displays of temper, constant anger, recurrent physical fights).
9. Transient, stress-related paranoid ideation, delusions or severe dissociative symptoms


Wednesday, December 03, 2008


Massively gigantic props to Emilio Estevez for having written and directed a beautiful work of art. This movie is so incredibly good in so many ways I find it hard to describe.

Within the massive cast, not one character is out of place. Not one scene is anywhere but exactly where it should be. The editing of both sound and visual from real life and from fiction is done in a way that compliments every moment so delicately that not one second is wasted. If you see one movie I suggest, please make it this one.

As for any critic of this movie, you're idiots. Void of any real talent or substance, hence your only ability which is to sit behind a computer and nay say what you don't understand...REAL TALENT. I'm talking to you Peter Travers you moron. Why can't Rolling Stone dump your stupid ass already. Writers for the Thrifty Nickel are more deserving or our attention than you.


Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Je suis le l'un

I'm the one
I've been here for you all along
I'm the one
Who's shoulder you've been crying on

Nice guys finish last no one knows as good as me
We're just good friends and you come for me for sympathy
You tell me that I'm not your type
But still you call me late at night
Every time he picks a fight
After all he's said and and all he's done

He's a total dick that's the truth and you know I'm right
From everything you say there's no way he'll ever do you right
You love a man who treats you wrong
You think you'll change him but you're wrong
He'll use you then you'll say so long
After all he's said and all he's done

I'm the one who wants you more than anything
You don't feel the same way you made it clear to me
But I'll stand my ground and maybe you'll hear what I'm saying
After all I've said and all I've done

I'm the one
I've been here for you all along
Who's shoulder you've been crying on