Formerly Ad Orientem

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

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Irish Elk
Wednesday, October 31, 2007  

Friends' pumpkin



Retro Cocktail Hour Halloween Party

A martini-fueled Halloween bash from Kansas Public Radio

(Free registration)

* * *

"I give epitaphs, not autographs."

-- Vampira

With skull

With cobwebs

The Glamour Ghoul


Tuesday, October 30, 2007  

"Graveyard Jamboree with Mysterious Mose"


Monday, October 29, 2007  

Just So Pap

Top: Papelbon levitates after final out of Series

Bottom: Boomer the Kangaroo, Just So Stories



Mile high

Sox are champs!

"Band Box Stomp"


Sunday, October 28, 2007  

Bratislava Hot Serenaders: "Tatransky Expres"

All aboard the Juggernaut Special...



Pout Rock, Ashland, Mass.


Friday, October 26, 2007  

John McCain: Courageous Service

Forty years ago today, John McCain was shot down over Vietnam.

At NRO, fellow POWs pen a tribute:

Those of us who have seen war know it for the truly terrible thing it is. We also know that war is not the worst of things. War brings great heartache and great heroism. John jokes that it takes no unique talent to intercept an SA-2 missile guided to you. Those of us who know him, and have shared some of his experiences, know better. He is a man of great courage. He has faced vicious enemies, armed with nothing but his character and determination.

Throughout his life, John has fought for what he believes is right for the United States. He lives to serve causes greater than himself. He is running for president not to be somebody, but to do something.

That is courage. That is leadership...

We served with John and know the truth: There is no better man to lead us through the challenging times our nation faces today and on to our best days that lie ahead.



Boston Somersets

Plenty of reason for Hub fans to turn handstands:

* The latest Series victory by the kings of New England, inimitably hailed by Soxaholix;

* The simultaneous BC-Va. Tech stunner, the reason the tv clicker was invented;

* And thanks to Jacoby Ellsbury, free tacos for America!


Thursday, October 25, 2007  

These are the good hours, the time for 'Gansett

And Dustin Pedroia & Co. are certified purveyors of the high life.

I had been meaning to post about Pedroia's swing, and he obliged by leading off the World Series with a home run.

His roundhouse uppercut -- uncoiled from the heels, pow! -- reminds me of an Olympic hammer-thrower whacking a piñata.

Last night the Rockies were the piñata.

For weight-throwing, some Highland music may be in order, but I'm going with Papelbon-critiquing step-dancers and Dropkicks.

Go, Sox!


Pennant flies atop Old Hancock

Joy of Sox: Game 1 newsstand

Soxaholix: Get your bloody sox on!


Wednesday, October 24, 2007  

Fall pics

Taken around Ashland, Mass., this past weekend.


Monday, October 22, 2007  

Love That Dirty Waw-tah!

Congrats to the AL champs!


Saturday, October 20, 2007  

Jimmie Foxx Centennial

His 100th birthday is celebrated in his Md. hometown.

* * *

Foxx pics:

On the cover of Time, 1929

With the Babe

Taking a swing, 1932

Wielding telephone pole

Bat full o' holes

* * *


He has muscles in his hair. – Lefty Gomez, re Jimmie Foxx

When Neil Armstrong first set foot on the moon, he and all the space scientists were puzzled by an unidentifiable white object. I knew immediately what it was. That was a home run ball hit off me in 1933 by Jimmie Foxx. -- Ibid.

* * *

From the Irish Elk archive: Mark of the Beast


Friday, October 19, 2007  


Robbo reminds us today is the Feast of the North American Martyrs.

Francis Parkman gives a harrowing account of the death of St Jean de Brebeuf, "the founder of the Huron mission, its truest hero, and its greatest martyr."

He came of a noble race, - the same, it is said, from which sprang the English Earls of Arundel; but never had the mailed barons of his line confronted a fate so appalling, with so prodigious a constancy. To the last he refused to flinch, and "his death was the astonishment of his murderers."

Fr. Brebeuf is pictured above addressing an Indian council. Parkman writes:

On one occasion, Brebeuf appeared before the chiefs and elders at a solemn national council, described Heaven and Hell with images suited to their comprehension, asked to which they preferred to go after death, and then, in accordance with the invariable Huron custom in affairs of importance, presented a large and valuable belt of wampum, as an invitation to take the path to Paradise...

...[The Jesuits] found especial pleasure in the baptism of dying infants, rescuing them from the flames of perdition, and changing them, to borrow Le Jeune's phrase, "from little Indians into little angels."

You can read Parkman's Jesuits in North America in its entirety online at Historion.


Thursday, October 18, 2007  

Jazz' journeymen

The number of jazz musicians in this country who piece out their lives in the shadows and shoals of show business has always been surprising. They play in roadhouses and motel lounges. They play in country inns and small hotels. They appear in seafood restaurants in ocean resorts and in steak houses in suburban shopping centers. They play in band shells on yellow summer evenings. They sit in, gloriously, with famous bands on one-night stands when the third trumpeter fails to show. They play wedding receptions and country-club dances and bar mitzvahs, and they turn up at intense Saturday night parties given by small-town businessmen who clap them on the back and request 'Ain't She Sweet,' and then sing along. Occasionally, they venture into big cities and appear for a week in obscure nightclubs. But more often they take almost permanent gigs in South Orange and Rochester and Albany. There is a spate of reasons for their perennial ghostliness: The spirit may be willing but the flesh is weak; their talents, though sure, are small; they may be bound by domineering spouses or ailing mothers; they may abhor traveling; they may be among those rare performers who are sated by the enthusiasms of a small house in a Syracuse bar on a February night. Whatever the reasons, these musicians form a heroic legion. They work long hours in seedy and/or pretentious places for minimum money. They make sporadic recordings on unknown labels. They play for benefits but are refused loans at the bank. They pass their lives pumping up their egos. Some of them sink into sadness and bitterness and dissolution, but by and large they remain a cheerful, hardy, ingenious group who subsist by charitably keeping the music alive in Danville and Worcester and Ish Peming.

-- Whitney Balliett, Alec Wilder and His Friends

Via: Terry Teachout * Patrick Kurp


Wednesday, October 17, 2007  

Happy Birthday, Jean Arthur

Born Gladys Green in Plattsburgh, N.Y., on this day in 1900.

Plucky Capraesque kudos to the Llamas for noting the occasion.

* * *

Some Clarissa Saunders quotes to mark the day:

Don Quixote with bill will get to his feet in a minute and speak two important words. Willet Creek. When that happens, the Silver Knight will fall off his tightrope and Puss will jump out of his boots.

I wonder Diz, if this Don Quixote hasn't got the jump on all of us. I wonder if it isn't a curse to go through life wised up like you and me.

[to Jefferson Smith] Why don't you go home?...This is no place for you - you're half-way decent. You don't belong here. Now go home.

(Via Wikiquote)

* * *

Clarissa Saunders: How many times have you heard me say "I'm fed up with politics" and I... no, I let him talk me into staying. Secretary to a leader of little squirts! Why? Because I need the job and a new suit of clothes!
Diz Moore: Would you settle for a husband?
Clarissa Saunders: Mmm, I sure would!
[suddenly realizes he's referring to himself]
Clarissa Saunders: Heh?
Diz Moore: You know my old standing offer. Diz Moore, poet of Washington correspondents.
Clarissa Saunders: [smiling] Oh, that again.
Diz Moore: I'd cherish you - and I'd stay sober.
Clarissa Saunders: Oh, Diz, you're a wonderful egg. I don't know, maybe if I saw you once with your hair combed or something...
[Diz sheepishly finger combs his hair]
Clarissa Saunders: [laughs] No, I don't even think that would do it.

Diz Moore: [dictating into phone] In protest, the whole Senate body rose and walked out.
Clarissa Saunders: No! No, not that straight stuff. Now listen, kick it up, get on his side, fight for him! Understand?
Diz Moore: You love this monkey - don't you?
Clarissa Saunders: What do you think? Now listen, go to work. Do as I tell you.
Diz Moore: [into phone] Throw out that last, take this. This is the most titanic battle of modern times. A David without even a slingshot rises to do battle against the mighty Goliath, the Taylor machine, allegedly crooked inside and out. Yeah, and for my money, you can cut out the "allegedly."

[last lines]
Clarissa Saunders: [shouts] Yippee!

(Via IMDB)

* * *

From the Irish Elk archives: More Jean Arthuriana



Where have you gone, Jacoby Ellsbury?

A Nation turns its lonely eyes to you.



Audrey Munson with Buzzer the Cat

Portrait by Arnold Genthe, 1915

Via the Library of Congress



Bratislava Hot Serenaders:

"Livin' In The Sunlight, Lovin' In The Moonlight"


Tuesday, October 16, 2007  

Smells & Bells &c

The venerable Jesuit above is Fr McElroy, founder of Boston College, profiled in the recent BC Magazine by historian James O'Toole.

BC's football team is now ranked third in the country. Those who've read Flashman & the Dragon will hear echoes of the Chinese mandarins in Notre Dame loyalists' imperial hubris.

* * *

Holy Smoke's Damian Thompson, on hurting liturgists' feelings:

Strangely, no one seems to have worried about the feelings of old ladies who loved singing “Soul of My Saviour” and other traditional Catholic hymns and suddenly found them replaced, overnight, by “Bind Us Together, Lord”. The poor things must have felt like Mrs Punch, being bashed over the head by a rolled-up copy of the Celebration Hymnal, accompanied by a gleeful liturgist’s cackle: “That’s the way to do it!”


Will Pope say old Mass in St. Peter's? A classic of the Holy Smoke oeuvre.


Conspiracy-mongering fun with the Templars.


Pronounce your own jihad!

* * *

Sandro Magister, Chiesa: From Vienna, a lesson on how to sing Mass:

Benedict XVI also told the monks of Heiligenkreutz: "A liturgy which no longer looks to God is already in its death throes." Haydn, a Catholic with a deep spirituality, was not far from this view of beauty in the Christian liturgy when he wrote at the end of each of his musical compositions, "Laus Deo," praise to God.

When in the Creed of the "Mariazeller Messe," the soloist intones "Et incarnatus est," and when the "Benedictus" is sung in the Sanctus, flashes of eternity truly break through. More than a thousand words, great liturgical music communicates the mystery of "He who comes in the name of the Lord," of the Word made flesh, of the bread that becomes the body of Jesus.

The liturgy that inspired Haydn - together with other great Christian composers - these sublime melodies, glimmering with theological joy, was the ancient, Tridentine liturgy: just the opposite of the "sense of staleness" that some associate with it.

* * *

Roman Christendom: Fatima 90th anniversary Rosary Rally, London

* * *

Michael Crichton, author of Jurassic Park, The Andromeda Strain &c, on GK Chesterton:

Chesterton's was one of the few voices to oppose eugenics in the early twentieth century.He saw right through it as fraudulent on every level, and he predicted where it would lead, with great accuracy.His critics were legion; they reviled him as a reactionary, ridiculous, ignorant, hysterical, incoherent, and blindly prejudiced, noting with dismay that "his influence in leading people in the wrong way is considerable." Yet Chesterton was right, and the consensus of scientists, political leaders, and the intelligentsia was wrong.Chesterton lived to see he horrors of Nazi Germany.This book is worth reading because, in retrospect, it is clear that Chesterton's arguments were perfectly sensible and deserving of an answer, and yet he was simply shouted down.And because the most repellent ideas of eugenics are being promoted again in the 21st century, under various guises.

* * *

Worth a visit: Gilbert Magazine, devoted to Chesterton

* * *

Via Flickr:

Jesuitenkirche, Vienna

The Altar of St Ignatius Loyola, Chiesa del Gesu, Rome:

Detail, "Religion Overthrowing Heresy and Hatred"

"Triumph of Faith over Idolatry"


Sunday, October 14, 2007  

Jim Ogonowski for Congress -- Mass. 5th District

He faces Niki Tsongas in a special election on Tuesday, Oct. 16.

ABC World News Tonight on the Tsongas-Ogonowski race

Michael Barone, US News: A GOP victory in Massachusetts?

Reid Wilson, Real Clear Politics: For Republicans, a ray of hope

James Antle, American Spectator: Massachusetts Miracle

Lawrence Eagle-Tribune: Ogonowski is best choice for Congress


Saturday, October 13, 2007  

This Day in Miracle Braves History

Johnny Evers' NY Times column, Oct. 13, 1914:


* * *

After failing to win with the "Big 3" - Bender, Plank and Bush, the Athletics turned to second year man, Bob Shawkey in an effort to get themselves back in the game. The Miracle Braves were on the verge of sweeping one of baseball's original dynasties and the A's were running out of options. Shawkey rose to the challenge and shutdown Boston for three scoreless innings before giving up one in the fourth. In the next inning, he helped his own cause with a game-tying double, but later surrendered two more runs in the bottom of the inning. Game 1 winner, Dick Rudolph held the A's at one and the Braves went on to a 3-1 victory and World Series sweep. The Philadelphia Athletics became the first team in World Series history to be eliminated in four games... (Baseball Almanac)

* * *

Bos 3, Phila 1 (Rudolph W, Shawkey L), Fenway Park. Box Score

* * *

NY Times, Oct. 14, 1914:


* * *

Evers' NY Times column, Oct. 14, 1914:


* * *

Above: The Miracle Braves



Drink like a champion today

The Maroon & Gold version goes well with the whale pants.

Whoops are heard from rectories across New England: BC 27, ND 14


Friday, October 12, 2007  

Fenway Panorama

"World's Series, Braves 5 - Athletics 4, 12 Innings, Fenway Park,
American League Grounds, Oct. 12, 1914."

From the Panoramic Photographs collection * Library of Congress



This Day in Miracle Braves History

Johnny Evers' NY Times column, Oct. 12, 1914:


* * *

Although the Fall Classic had shifted to Boston, the Braves were still without home-field advantage. Fenway Park (home of the Red Sox) was chosen over their own South End Grounds as a more attractive and inviting venue. Game 3 was anyone's game as the Braves and A's battled to another game extending tie at 2-2 through nine innings. Once again, "Home Run Baker" came up clutch, hitting a two run single off of the Braves starter, Lefty Tyler. The Braves answered back with two runs of their own in the bottom of the tenth as Gowdy led off with a timely homer and Joe Connolly produced a run-scoring fly ball later in the inning. Bill James came in as relief for Tyler and shut the Athletics out for the next two innings. In the bottom of the twelfth, Gowdy knocked a double off of "Bullet" Joe Bush (who had gone the distance) and gave way to a pinch-runner, Mann. After an intentional walk to pinch-hitter Larry Gilbert, Herbie Moran followed with a perfect bunt. Bush grabbed the ball and threw toward the third baseman in an attempt to force Mann, but his throw went wide resulting in much more than an error. Mann jumped at the opportunity and darted home for the 5-4 victory. Boston was now up three-games-to-none and the Philadelphia favorites were in serious trouble. (Baseball Almanac)

* * *

Bos 5, Phila 4 (Tyler, James W, Bush L), Fenway Park. Box Score

* * *

Above: Lefty Tyler



Al Gore Warholized


Wednesday, October 10, 2007  

Captain Truman and others, c. 1918

While some trumpet Al Gore for the Nobel Peace Prize, the NY Sun nominates the American soldier, specifically Gen. Petraus:

It has seemed to us that the American GI is the greatest force for peace in the world today, and we say that without the slightest bit of irony. GI Joe and GI Jane always go overseas for reasons not of conquest but of liberation, to secure the hope of democracy, and always with the intent of returning home.

* * *

Elsewhere in the Sun, Paul Greenberg describes the Harry Truman style, conveyed in the presidential library in Independence, Mo.:

While aware of the impression he was leaving — he was, after all, a politician of some note — the man had no airs, certainly not intellectual ones. He'd been there, done that, and didn't need to philosophize about it.

He was an earnest student of history — the old-fashioned kind with heroes and villains, right and wrong. None of this Toynbeean murk for him. He knew what he knew, the rest he would learn — if he thought it worth learning.

Truman never did have much patience with the pretentious. At a particularly low point in his presidency, his party having just lost the midterm elections, a distinguished senator from Arkansas on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee suggested that he resign the presidency in the best British tradition. Much like a prime minister leaving office after a vote of no confidence.

Harry Truman didn't think much of that idea. And as for the senator who'd come up with it, he dismissed the Honorable William Fulbright as someone who'd been "educated above his intelligence." And that was one of his milder descriptions of the gentleman from Arkansas.



This Day in Miracle Braves History

Johnny Evers' NY Times column, Oct. 10, 1914:


* * *

[The] "Miracle Braves" called on their other ace Bill James who had boasted an impressive twenty-six wins for his team during the regular season. The A's Connie Mack countered with the 1913 Series winner Eddie Plank and both pitched to a 0-0 standstill after eight innings. In the top of the ninth, Boston's Charlie Deal hit a one-out double, stole third and scored on a two-out single by Les Mann. In the bottom of the ninth, James walked two batters but got out of the jam by inducing Eddie Murphy to hit into a game-ending double play. James' two-hit, 1-0 victory gave Boston a shocking Series lead of two games to none. (Baseball Almanac)

Bos 1, Phila 0 (James W, Plank L), Shibe Park. Box Score

* * *

A poem:

"Gettysburg Eddie"

Written By: Jimmy Keenan

Edward Plank was a pitcher from the hills of Pa.
At "Good Intent" he threw his first pitch and was on his way.

Eddie was a lefty with a cross- fire motion
His fastball and curve caused quite a commotion.

The Gettysburg star played at the site of the battle.
The quiet man took his time between pitches, the hitters he'd rattle.

Oh' Gettysburg Eddie, your star shined so bright.
Oh' Gettysburg Eddie, you shunned the spotlight.

At the turn of the twentieth century, Eddie first made his mark.
Not a day in the minors, it was straight to Columbia Park.

Eddie won over twenty games seven times as a Philadelphia A.
Add another twenty with the Feds, the southpaw led the way.

After a stint with the Browns, and a Steel League finale.
Eddie hung the spikes, 326 wins was his tally.

Oh' Gettysburg Eddie your star shined so bright.
Oh' Gettysburg Eddie you avoided the limelight.

Eddie won five American League flags and three times a World Title.
Plank stood out among them all, he was an American League idol.

Eddie retired to his Gettysburg farm and gave tours of the grounds.
He did this with grace just like his time spent on mounds.

In 1946, Eddie was elected to the Hall of Fame.
His feats of great pitching are among the best in the game.

Oh' Gettysburg Eddie your star shined so bright.
Oh' Gettysburg Eddie you reached a great height.

Eddie passed away in his fiftieth year.
Fond memories live on so don't shed a tear.

He's in a better place now with family and mates.
I bet his catcher Doc Powers, and St. Pete were both at the gates.

They said I know you just arrived and that's all right.
But you better get loose because your pitching tonight.

Oh' Gettysburg Eddie your star still shines bright.
Oh' Gettysburg Eddie we bid you goodnight.

* * *

Above: Evers and Plank


Tuesday, October 09, 2007  

Shibe Park postcards

The domed exterior

Third-base grandstand

Via Vintage Ball



Rooftops outside Shibe Park

Watching the World Series, Oct. 9, 1914

Also from George Grantham Bain Collection:

Outside the park

A's dugout

Bleacher fans

Series crowd

Series fans


Royal Rooters



Today in Miracle Braves History

Johnny Evers' NY Times column, Oct. 9, 1914:


* * *

IN THE NEWS: The Boston Braves go into the World Series as underdogs, despite their strong finish. Only one regular, LF Joe Connolly, hit .300. Their strengths are pitchers Dick Rudolph, George "Lefty" Tyler, and "Seattle Bill" James, 2B Johnny Evers, who wins Chalmers' final MVP automobile, and SS Rabbit Maranville, their cleanup hitter. The Philadelphia A's Eddie Collins, with a .344 BA, wins the Chalmers AL award with 63 of 64 possible points. The A's have seven pitchers with 10 or more wins, led by Chief Bender's 17–3. Bender's World Series magic is quickly dispelled as the Braves knock him out in the 6th. Rudolph coasts to a 5-hit 7–1 victory. Hank Gowdy has a single, double, and triple. He will hit a World Series record .545, and Evers, .438. Only Babe Ruth will top Gowdy with .625 in 1928. Bender makes his last World Series appearance, finishing with a record 59 strikeouts. (Baseball Library)

* * *

Bos 7, Phila 1 (Rudolph W, Bender L), Shibe Park, Phila. Box Score

* * *

Seth Swirsky: Hank Gowdy baseballs

* * *

Above: Amos Strunk out at home, second inning


Monday, October 08, 2007  

Worth reading

When I come across an interesting item, I e-mail it to myself.

Time to clean out the in-box.

The Telegraph:

How the mustache went the way of the British Empire

Signs in mangled English

Britain's most unusual epitaphs

* * *

More Intelligent Life:

The typeface that ate the world

How to eat a guinea pig

The castrato as star & sex symbol

(Via Atlantic Ave)

* * *

Very Short List:

Ugliest cars ever

The Groucho letters

* * *

Violins & Starships:

"A little bit 18th century, a little bit 24th century."



This Day in Miracle Braves History

Johnny Evers' NY Times column, Oct. 8, 1914:


Above: Evers & Braves manager Stallings, 1914 World Series



Political Animalia

Nearly one in five registered Democrats polled say the US would be
better off if it lost in Iraq. Another 20 percent "don't know" if the US
would be better off losing.

Miss Kelly: Jim Ogonowski for Congress

Real Clear Politics: Ray of Hope for Mass. Republicans

Weekly Standard: Campaign blog

Vanity Fair: Hillary-Gore civil war

Commentary: Past, present & future of neoconservatism

Spectator blog: UN has no moral authority

New Republic blog: While its starving citizens poach game,
Zimbabwe heads UN panel on sustainable development

Michael J Totten in Iraq: Peace Corps with muscles

David Gelernter: Dems for defeat at any price

Dom Bettinelli: From Maine candidate, a welcome pro-life testimony



Jumbos vs Polar Bears

The score was Tufts 21, Bowdoin 13, in the schools' 102nd meeting,
Oct. 7, at Ellis Oval, Somerville, Mass.

Jumbo worked the Homecoming crowd.

In nearby Davis Square, the annual Honk Fest activist street band festival "reclaimed the streets for horns, bikes and feet," while answering a longstanding question:

If I am an unshaven lesbian redolent of hemp and BO tooting a sousaphone in a Mummers costume, why don't national policy makers listen to me on climate change, Palestinian rights, and the need for bikes not bombs?

The answer, of course: Because we don't live in a democracy, man!

Music's pretty fun:

Listen To Honk! Live At the Dilboy


Saturday, October 06, 2007  

Manny being Manny

Anti-Bartman earns high five from Stephen King.

Biblical swarm of bugs descends on Yanks.


Wednesday, October 03, 2007  

Dinosaurs aren't what they were

Scientists now say the velociraptor was just a big turkey.

And the saber-tooth tiger was a pussycat.

* * *

Above: NYT: Dinosaurs on Hudson, 1963


NYT: Dinosaur dismantled, 1965

Telegraph: Found, a perfect baby mammoth

NY Sun: Of marsupials and men



Twist & Shout


Monday, October 01, 2007  

Happy October

Babsi Stadlhuber says Prosit!



Yaz 1967

From Ken Burns' Baseball.


Paul McNamara on baseball as played in 1967:

No ads on the walls, pitchers batting and socks worn properly.


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