Friday, July 02, 2010

7 Quick Takes Friday-- Latin manuscripts, red animals, etc.

Here's Jen's post

--- 1 ---

We had a nice June gloom going all last month. I always savor it, since you know the scorching heat is coming. And right on schedule, the clouds rolled back and the heat rolled in on July 1. I'm hiking in Griffith Park tomorrow... better get the sunscreen.

--- 2 ---

If you ever visit a museum and find yourself in a room full of beautiful illuminated manuscripts, and you wish to give the impression that you can read Latin, just scan all the pages for these words:

Deus, in adiutorium meum intende
Domine, ad adiuvandum me festina.

There's a decent chance that one of the books on display will have them. See, many surviving manuscripts are breviaries, books for praying the Liturgy of the Hours, which is mostly an arrangement of Psalms to be prayed several times a day. Each Hour begins with an invocation from Psalm 70: "God, come to my assistance / Lord, make haste to help me." The first page of each Hour is the prettiest, with the most decoration, which means the museum will have the breviary opened to one of those first pages, which means you'll see the opening invocation there. Sometimes it's abbreviated to just the first few words, and the reader is supposed to fill in the rest.

To prove my point I just ran an image search for "illuminated manuscript", and averaged about one occurrence of those words for each page of results.

--- 3 ---

I have an extremely important question: Why is it that red-haired people

and red-haired dogs

and red-haired cows

are all to be found in the same area of the world? Why does the red congregate in Northern Europe?

An evolutionary explanation for humans is that redheads have very pale skin and this is advantageous in cloudy climes but dangerous at the equator. But why should that make a difference for animals whose skin is completely covered?

Maybe redheads breed their animals for the same trait. I'd be narcissistic like that, for sure.

--- 3b ---

You know, I just remembered orangutans, and they're not Northern European at all. Maybe I need to think about this question some more.

--- 4 ---

My co-worker Jon saw his sister get married last weekend.

"What was her dress like?" Deanna asked him.

"It was ripply," said Jon.

"Ripply? That's all?"


Along came Julie, who'd seen the dress herself.

"What was the dress like?" Deanna asked Julie.

"Oh, it was strapless," replied Julie, "and it had a low back, and the skirt was gathered into tucks all over."

Vive la différence!

--- 5 ---

Have you heard the recording of the voicemail message that a man was leaving his boss, when suddenly he witnessed a car run a red light right in front of him and hit a car full of little old ladies, who proceeded to-- I think you'd better hear it.

--- 6 ---

I know exactly which Bible he's talking about, by the way. It's the huge NIV Study Bible: leather binding, gilt pages, ribbon bookmarks, and inside it's full of maps and diagrams and commentary on almost every verse, and an extensive concordance in the back (so useful!), and a nice long introduction preceding each of the sixty-six books of the Protestant canon. Catholics, think of the Navarre Bible, but with all the volumes bound together. My church presented me with an NIV Study Bible at the end of fifth grade as a reward for five years of memorizing verses, and I loved it. I bonded with it like Hermione bonded with Hogwarts, A History. I took it with me to church always, and showed off with it in Bible study (if someone asked a historical question, the answer was usually in my notes), and underlined and dated favorite verses for years, and lugged it along on every vacation in spite of its weight, and a few times when I heard an inspiring sermon I asked the preacher to autograph the flyleaf-- I still have those signatures, and the verse references they wrote for me. When I came forward at an altar call one summer camp, I was given a little piece of paper commemorating the fact, signed by a counselor and me, and I pasted that in the Bible where it remains, dated July 14, 1991. My NIV Study Bible is bound in classy gray leather with my name engraved on the front in silver, and early on I went to the Lighthouse Christian store and bought a pink leather cover for it with a rainbow butterfly embroidered on the front. And I can tell you, if I chose to conk someone on the head with that thing, he'd feel the impact.

--- 7 ---

A friend just emailed me this: the cast of La Traviata in Philadelphia infiltrates the local Italian market and suddenly bursts into song. :)

Another great video is Bobby McFerrin performing Gounod's Ave Maria... after a manner of speaking.


Vincenzo said...

"A friend just emailed me this: the cast of La Traviata in Philadelphia infiltrates the local Italian market and suddenly bursts into song. :)"

LOL that was great. My class was taken to see La Traviata in 6th grade.
& nice orangutan.
Funny - I was just experimenting with this blog template last night.

Rachel Gray said...

Thanks. I think the template's too bright orange for my header picture, but I'm not done experimenting.

Anonymous said...

Good job. I'm definitely going to bookmark you!