Formerly Ad Orientem

"Irish Elk is original, entertaining, eclectic, odd, truly one-of-a-kind. And more than mostly interesting."
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"Puts the 'ent' in 'eccentric.'"

"The Gatling Gun of Courteous Debate."
Unitarian Jihad

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Under the patronage of St. Tammany



Mark C. N. Sullivan is an editor at a Massachusetts university. He is married and the father of three children.

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Truth Laid Bear Ecosystem

He is a very shallow critic who cannot see an eternal rebel in the heart of a conservative.

The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.

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Irish Elk
Saturday, September 29, 2007  


Thanks, Baltimore!



This Day in Miracle Braves History

Sept. 29, 1914: The Braves, in last place in mid-July, clinch NL pennant with a 3-2 win over Chicago at Fenway Park. (Starters: Larry Cheney vs Tom Hughes) It is the seventh win in a row for Boston (88-56). (Baseball Library)

* * *

Even though Evers, going through his fourth pennant race after three with the magnificent Cubs teams of '06, '07, and '08, felt that he would be the first to crack under the pressure, "the Crab" and the rest of the Braves played solid and took the pennant on September 29, beating who else but Evers' ex-teammates, the Chicago Cubs, 3-2. The unquestionable leader of the Tribe on the field, Johnny Evers was named MVP of the National League in 1914. ("Baseball's Miracle Boys")

* * *

Above: Johnny Evers, October, 1914

* * *

"That's-a-Plenty" (1914) * Perfessor Bill Edwards





Friday, September 28, 2007  

Strong men wear kilts

A Christian Science Monitor slideshow:

The NH Highland Games



Make Your Own Dylan Message Cards

Via Very Short List


Tuesday, September 25, 2007  

Six Black Cordelias

From Brideshead.

Found while looking for general strike footage for Mrs P.



Smells, bells, life, &c

The Jesuit painter Andrea Pozzo's masterpiece is the ceiling of the Church of St. Ignatius in Rome (1691-4), presenting an allegory of the Jesuits' missionary work.

Details of the fresco represent the continents. Above, the feathered Indian princess, perhaps a relative of St. Tammany's, is America.

More details are at the Web Gallery of Art. Be sure to click on the image to enlarge:

Curing plague victims





* * *

What if you could give one last lecture before your life ended? What would you tell people?

Forty-six-year-old computer science professor Randy Pausch, diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and given only a few months to live, had just that opportunity. The result was gracious, good-humored, and quite inspiring.

Read and watch: A Professor's Life Lessons

* * *

Also via RP:

Wisdom from the Girl Child:

We don’t watch a lot of television in our house but I do like the occasional game, especially early in the season when, in theory, everyone is tied for first place. The Girl Child was sitting to watch a little with me when a commercial came on and I promptly muted it. The problem is, you see, that the Girl Child can read and this is what happened next:

GC: “Life takes Visa”? No, it doesn’t. That’s so wrong.
Me: Oh? What does life take?
GC: Life takes love.

I cannot help but think that if that is her view of things, my wife and I cannot be doing as bad a job with her as I feared.

* * *

Worth reading:

Michael Novak on Mother Teresa: "Way of Darkness"

* * *

Holy Smoke is the Telegraph blog of Damian Thompson, the editor-in-chief of the Catholic Herald, who notes he once was described by Church Times as a "blood-crazed ferret." So of course it's good reading. Some entries:

Worrying times for aging trendies

A lucrative market in toe-curling music

Is this why Catholics can't sing?

How not to give Communion

A glorious Mass at Merton College

How Opus Dei ruined saint-making



Bratislava Hot Serenaders: "Herr Ober, Zwei Mocca"

Sir Basil Seal singing in German?

One commenter writes:

These may be some of the best videos on YouTube. Seriously.
Makes me want to listen to this instead of my Victrola!


Monday, September 24, 2007  

Any Bonds Today?

A bit of Bugs Bunny, inspired by Ken Burns.


Sunday, September 23, 2007  

This Day in Miracle Braves History

King Lear vs. Iron Davis: that was the pitching matchup in the second game of a doubleheader between Boston and Cincinnati. The Braves lost, snapping an eight-game win streak, but would go on to begin a new nine-game win streak. The day's results:

September 23, 1914: Defeated Reds, 3-2 (Starters: Red Ames vs Bill James); Lost to Reds, 3-0 (Starters: King Lear vs Iron Davis); Fenway Park, Boston. The Braves (81-56) are in first place in the National League. (Baseball Library)

Above: Rabbit Maranville, September, 1914


Wednesday, September 19, 2007  

'tis Talk Like a Pirate Day

Here's how Honus Wagner would be havin' sounded in Sea dog Speak:

"Thar ain’t much t' bein' a ballplayer, if ye’re a ballplayer."

"Things be changin' fast by that time, lasses be beginnin' t' come t' th' ball parks. We had t' avast cussin'."

"I nereben sea sick. I dasn't e'en know what 't means t' be sea sick. I hear other players say they be havin' a cold. I jus' dasn't know what 't would feel like t' be havin' a cold - I nerehad one."

"In all me voyages o' play, I neresaw an ump deliberately make an unfair decision. They really called them as they saw `em."


Tuesday, September 18, 2007  

Hurrah for Thos Francis Meagher

Inspired by Mr P's eloquent post on the Irish Brigade at Antietam, I resolve to acquire a Fighting 69th flag in time to hang for the Dec. 13 anniversary of Marye's Heights.

And I raise a toast to the Irish Brigade's commander, the remarkable Thomas Francis Meagher:

Perhaps no other Irishman this side of St. Patrick led a more colorful life, a life that reads like a movie script and epitomizes the label "fighting Irish."

A statue of Meagher on horseback gallantly waving his sword may be seen in front of the Montana state capitol:

Thomas Francis Meagher (1823-1867) was an Irish revolutionary, flamboyant orator, and Union veteran of the Civil War who twice served as acting governor of Montana Territory. Exiled from the British Isles to a penal colony in Tasmania in 1848, this Irish freedom fighter soon escaped to New York City. Arriving in Montana in 1865 at the height of its gold rush, Meagher served as acting territorial governor in 1865-66 and 1866-67. His political terms are viewed by many as opportunistic and corrupt. Meagher's mysterious disappearance from a steamboat in 1867 has led to disparate theories about the cause of his death - from falling into the Missouri River while intoxicated to premediated murder by British agents.

* * *

Clip: "Garryowen"

* * *

Elsewhere on Antietam:

Washington Post (1995): "And the slain lay in rows"

National Park Service: Antietam National Battlefield

Llama Butchers


Friday, September 14, 2007  

Step right up!

MARVEL at the Turner Prize-winning artwork:

a light switched on and off!

LAUGH at corporate team-building fun!

WONDER at the glory that was the Morgan Library --

and the Architects' Revenge!



"Come over and help us!" *

Andrew Cusack kindly dedicates to this site a post recalling Massachusetts' Tercentenary.

In appreciation, I set out in search of a suitable image for him of the Harvard College mace, but had no luck.

I did find:

The image at top of the British ambassador to the United States, Viscount Halifax, at the 1941 Harvard commencement, the train of his robe carried by a 10-year-old British refugee.

This procession of Class of '11 alumni bearing their own standard.

An image of FDR after he received an honorary degree, inscribed to "a statesman in whom there is no guile."

* Message on Massachusetts Bay Colony's original great seal


Thursday, September 13, 2007  

The Left's faith in America the Ugly

I've been feeling in a mood to vent a bit re the Left.

Do the smart folks with the "Impeach Now" bumper stickers really mean they want Dick Cheney to be president? I don't think so. Recently I was behind a car with these two stickers: "Hatred is Learned Behavior," and "Somewhere in Texas a Village is Missing its Idiot." So hatred is to be discouraged. But contempt is OK?

On visits to the public library, I wonder: Who exactly decides that the entire oeuvre of Molly Ivins, Michael Moore &c must take up the lion's share of the current affairs non-fiction shelf in the Audiobooks and DVD sections?

The Globe, like its parent NY Times, reads more and more like the Daily Prophet. Lest Gen. Petraeus' optimistic news from Iraq steer readers from the approved talking points, the Globe today offered a fresh dose of defeatist spin on the front of Boston.com:

[T]his week, the top US military officer in Iraq said that he did not know whether continuing the war is making America safer.

What, Boston.com asked, did readers think of that?

Dr. Seuss' 1941 cartoon (at top) would fit many in the Democratic Party and on the Left today.

In that vein, some recent clips:

Norman Podhoretz: On the Left's enduring "negative faith in America the Ugly."

The Horror! The Horror! The Weekly Standard's Noemie Emery on the paranoid style of the American left.

Hollywood hates the troops: The Weekly Standard on the slanders of Tim Robbins and Brian DePalma.

Mark Steyn: 35 percent of Democrats believe Bush knew about 9/11 in advance.

NY Sun: Dems on the run from good news on Iraq.

NY Times' Baghdad correspondent offers clear-eyed view of progress in Iraq -- and the Times' editorial page ignores him, continuing a remarkable cognitive dissonance at the supposed paper of record.

WSJ: Trashing Petraeus

Peter D. Feaver: MoveOn's McCarthy Moment.


Wednesday, September 12, 2007  

Taking the Elk on the road

This isn't a replay of the deer-in-the-backseat scene in Tommy Boy, but a note to say the Irish Elk now may be read additionally at Patum Peperium, having joined the contributers there at the kind invitation of Mr & Mrs P. The company there is most convivial, so be sure to stop by.



Winged Hussars

The 3,000 Polish winged hussars who famously charged at the Battle of Vienna in 1683 were said to have "attacked the Godless Turks like angels from heaven." Some wings!

For all your Battle of Vienna commemorative reading needs, visit Roman Christendom and the Llamas.


Tuesday, September 11, 2007  

"Hail, Columbia"

Hail Columbia, happy land!
Hail, ye heroes, heav'n-born band,
Who fought and bled in freedom's cause,
Who fought and bled in freedom's cause,
And when the storm of war was gone
Enjoy'd the peace your valor won.
Let independence be our boast,
Ever mindful what it cost;
Ever grateful for the prize,
Let its altar reach the skies.


Sunday, September 09, 2007  

This Day in Miracle Braves History

September 9, 1914: Lost to Phillies, 10-3 (Starters: Pete Alexander vs Gene Cocreham); Defeated Phillies, 7-0 (Starters: Ben Tincup vs Iron Davis); Fenway Park, Boston. The Braves (70-54) are in first place in the National League. (Baseball Library)

* * *

In game two of a doubleheader, George A. Davis, a Harvard law student, pitches the only shutout of his brief career, a 7–0 no-hitter for the first-place Braves over the Phils. The spitballer walks the bases loaded with no outs in the 5th, but "he rose to the occasion to prove his perfect candidacy to a niche in the hall of stars," writes the Boston Post… Davis will be 3–3 this year and next, then hang up his glove to start a law practice. (Baseball Library)

* * *

With first place psychologically secured from the demoralized New York Giants, Stallings looked to rest his pitching staff. George "Iron" Davis, a Harvard law student that Stallings cajoled into performing, debuted in the second game of a September 9th doubleheader with the Phils. After the first game was surrendered to Pete Alexander, 10-3, Davis pitched a no hitter in the second. After walking the first three batters, Davis struck out Ed Burns and got Gavvy Cravath, the next batter, to hit into a double play. After the three runners in the first, Davis only allowed four runners the rest of the game, on two walks and two errors. However, none of Phils crossed home plate or hit safely as the Braves won 7-0. Another no name player became a famed 1914 Miracle Brave. ("Baseball's Miracle Boys")

* * *

Above, "Iron" Davis, Harvard Law student who no-hit the Phils


Saturday, September 08, 2007  

He Who Gets Slapped (1924)

I found myself watching this entire movie on the web the other night. The premise is unusual, to say the least, yet you find yourself pulled in by the surreal spectacle.

French scientist Paul Beaumont (Lon Chaney) has been working for years to prove his theories on the origin of mankind with little success until the wealthy Baron Regnard (Marc MacDermott) becomes his benefactor. But when Beaumont goes before the Academy of Science to present his discoveries, Regnard takes all the credit and claims that Beaumont was merely his assistant. When Beaumont pleads his case, Regnard slaps him and the audience of scientists roars with laughter. Beaumont seeks consolation from his wife Marie (Ruth King), only to be crushed when she reveals that she's leaving him for Regnard, with whom she's been having an affair. She calls him a clown and slaps him, then laughs hysterically.

Years pass and the shattered Beaumont has become a circus clown known as "HE--Who Gets Slapped," playing a character whose act consists of being repeatedly slapped by other clowns. One night, Regnard attends the circus and becomes infatuated with the bareback rider Consuelo (Norma Shearer). The daredevil rider Bezano (John Gilbert) is in love with Consuelo, but her impoverished father, Count Mancini (Tully Marshall), makes a deal with Regnard to marry her. Beaumont locks Regnard and Mancini inside a room and sics a lion on them. They're both killed, but Beaumont is mortally wounded after being stabbed by Mancini. Beaumont staggers out to the circus and performs his act, then dies in the ring as the crowd bursts into laughter and applause.

Turner Classic Movies offers some choice clips:

The Act

The Revenge

No one did "sad clown" like Lon Chaney. Make that, "sad, masochistic, maniacal clown with his heart ripped out and stomped on, but who gets even in the end -- oh-HO does he get even."


Friday, September 07, 2007  

This Day in Miracle Braves History

Monday, September 7: Defeated Giants, 5-4 (Starters: Christy Mathewson vs Dick Rudolph); lost to Giants, 10-1 (starters: Jeff Tesreau vs Lefty Tyler); Fenway Park, Boston. The Braves (68-53) are in first place in the National League. (Baseball Library)

* * *

IN THE NEWS: The Braves and Giants play an A.M.-P.M. twin bill in Boston on Labor Day. To accommodate the crowds, the Braves have moved their home games to Fenway Park, courtesy of owner Joe Lannin: Fenway has triple the seating capacity of South End Grounds. The two contests draw 74,163 on the day. The Braves, down 4-3 to Christy Mathewson in the 9th, storm back for two runs to win the opener. Josh Devore scratches a single, Herb Moran doubles into the crowd ringing the outfield, and Johnny Evers slaps a single that eludes George Burns to drive home the tying and winning runs. Jeff Tesreau wins the nitecap, 10-1, and the Giants pile on Lefty Tyler. In the Giants' 4-run sixth, Fred Snodgrass takes a pitch on the sleeve to reach 1B, thumbing his nose at Tyler along the way. Lefty retaliates by acting out Fred's 1912 muff. When Snodgrass returns to CF, the crowd is merciless to the point that Boston Mayor Curley rushes on the field and demands the umpires eject the Giant player. McGraw, worried that Snodgrass might incur an injury, replaces Snodgrass. (Baseball Library)

* * *

Above: Dick Rudolph, September, 1914


Wednesday, September 05, 2007  

Lady Libertine, 1902

From the Fitz William Guerin collection at Shorpy.

* * *


The Washington Post chronicles colorful scandals from the history of the nation's capital.

(Via Cliopatria)



"America's rival to the Eiffel Tower"

George Washington Gale Ferris came up with the Ferris Wheel on the back of a dinner napkin.

The idea came to him in a Chicago chop house. He was dining with engineers working on the Chicago World's Fair. By supper's end, he'd sketched the whole thing.

It was a 250-foot wheel with 36 passenger boxes. It would turn on a 45 foot axle. He would levitate 42 tons of steel into the air and spin it around. Ferris wouldn't use rigid spokes. Instead, he'd make a web of taut cables -- like a bicycle wheel.

Of course, the other engineers didn't like it. It would fall over in the wind. It'd never carry its own weight. But Ferris prevailed. He built the wheel for the Chicago Fair, and it ran like a Swiss watch. When a hurricane swept the fairground, the wheel stood fast.

Ferris, inventor of the eponymous wheel, most spectacular attraction of the 1893 Chicago world's fair, ended up dying broke and alone, his masterpiece dynamited and buried in a Mississippi delta landfill.

Fifteen months after Ferris's death, a Pittsburgh crematorium was still holding his ashes, waiting for someone -- anyone -- to claim the remains of one of the great champions of North American technology, the engineer who proved Americans were capable of topping the Eiffel Tower. But the mad rush of American history into the 20th century had passed him by. Curiously, it was the French who paid George Washington Gale Ferris Jr. the ultimate posthumous compliment. When planning got under way for the Paris Exposition of 1900, the French decided they wanted a Ferris Wheel of their own, just like George's. The French engineers were given a copy of Ferris's original schematics and reconstructed his Ferris Wheel down to the last rivet. The dead inventor's soaring, shocking technological answer to the Eiffel Tower dazzled France, and dazzled Europe.

MIT today praises Ferris as "the author of [a] uniquely beautiful, and modern, amalgam of spirit, form and function."

* * *

BC Prof. Jeffery Howe's Digital Archive of American Architecture offers a gallery of images from the Chicago Columbian Exhibition of 1893, including the one above.

Here are some others, of the Ferris Wheel and Midway.

* * *

This bit of Ferris Wheel history was inspired by Patum Peperium.



Via Your Daily Awesome

Criminal portraits, Sydney police archives

I wrote for the Weekly World News


Tuesday, September 04, 2007  

Political animalia

One last look at McCain: "Still the old combat pilot battles on," the editor of the American Spectator, R. Emmett Tyrrell Jr., writes, "and frankly I am in his corner...Call me a contrarian if you will, but the gloomy media mood shrouding the McCain candidacy is a reflection of the unseriousness inherent in the presidential campaign at this point in the news cycle. By historic standards McCain is perfectly acceptable as a presidential candidate. His presence in the Oval Office would be no surprise to Dwight Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy or Ronald Reagan. The Democratic front runners' would..."

* * *

The Spectator (UK) blog: Can McCain come back?

* * *

"The Bluest State": A new book by Jonathan Keller, political analyst at Boston's WBZ-TV, "contends that baby boom politicians and voters in Massachusetts have deeply damaged the political culture in the state, standing as a warning to voters nationwide of generational and ideological excesses," Seth Gitell writes in the NY Sun. "For Mr. Keller, Massachusetts is both the Petri dish of hot house liberalism and the locale from which its antidote can spring."

* * *

Kari Jenson Gold: Blame it on W: "[If] my local grocery store runs out of duck confit, there is no doubt in my mind that this is because Bush has allowed the store’s employees to live in deplorable conditions without universal health care—thereby causing them all to call in sick last Wednesday. Do I even need to mention the effects of global warming on ducks?"

* * *

Fidel's favorite US president: "'James Carter,' as Cuba's ailing revolutionary calls him."

* * *

At top: "Another such victory and I am undone," Thos Nast, Harper's Weekly, 1877



Rose of Tralee

Lisa Murtagh has the map of Ireland in her face.

And unlike Miss Teen South Carolina, she can find Ireland on a map.

The 27-year-old Manhattan attorney has been named 48th Rose of Tralee.

The Irish Times writes:

With her red hair, Manhattan address and high flying job as an attorney, the skiing enthusiast was inevitably being compared to Miranda from Sex And the City although image-wise she was more of a Nicole Kidman or Maureen O'Hara lookalike.


Monday, September 03, 2007  

Work Pays America

Posters from the WPA * Library of Congress


Sunday, September 02, 2007  

A game for the ages

Sox rookie Buchholz pitches no-hitter in 2nd big-league start.

Dirt Dogs: Feat of Clay

The Herald front page: Clay Ball!


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