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Justice League 4K - doing justice to the DC comics universe?

Justice League 4K - doing justice to the DC comics universe?
Warner Brothers’ ongoing attempts to play catch-up with the Marvel cinematic universe continues with Justice League, their version of The Avengers, in which a group of superheroes teams up to fight a super villain bent on mayhem, conquest and destruction.

The question is, is it any good, and how does it stack up to the Marvel movies? And in the case of this sparkling new 4K version of last year’s Justice League film, the answer is a decidedly firm “meh.”

By Jim Bray - Saturday, March 17, 2018 - Full Story

Thor Ragna-rocks in its 4K disc incarnation

Thor Ragna-rocks in its 4K disc incarnationMarvel’s third Thor outing is one “Val-helluva” way to get into the 4K disc market, and it’s also the best of the Thor outings to date.

And it’s a movie that doesn’t take itself seriously and even imparted quite a few laughs on its audience.

I was never a Thor comic book reader and thought Kenneth Branagh’s first Thor movie was visually lovely but nearly as forgettable as the second Thor movie (“the Dark World”). The best thing about both movies (and this one, too) is Chris Hemsworth as the title God. Whether he’s being tossed out of Asgard or driving a star ship or Formula 1 car, the Aussie is a very good actor and he inhabits the Thor character very well, indeed.

By Jim Bray - Saturday, March 17, 2018 - Full Story

Vatican Advances Fake Letter to turn Conservatives Against Church Tradition

Vatican Advances Fake Letter to turn Conservatives Against Church Tradition
What can be called an insidious attempt to use Benedict XVI to advance Pope Francis’ radical post-conciliar agenda has been exposed.

Early in the week the Catholic world had been abuzz over a letter sent by Benedict XVI to Vatican communications director Monsignor Dario Vigano, in which the former pontiff purportedly criticized Church conservatives for their “foolish prejudice” in not recognizing that “Pope Francis is a man of profound philosophical and theological formation.”

AP now reports that the Vatican admitted on Wednesday that it digitally manipulated a photo of the letter sent out to the media to rebut critics of Pope Francis, who allege that his teaching represents a departure from Pope Benedict’s, and from the Tradition of the Catholic Church.

By David Martin - Thursday, March 15, 2018 - Full Story

A brewer’s tale of proteins and beer

A brewer's tale of proteins and beer
The transformation of barley grains into beer is an old story, typically starring water, yeast and hops. Now, in a report in the Journal of Proteome Research, scientists are highlighting another character in this tale: proteins. The results could someday lead to a better, tastier brew.

By American Chemical Society - Wednesday, March 14, 2018 - Full Story

Literacy Experts: Are They Ready To Apologize Yet?

Berys Dixon is the Education Establishment's worst nightmare
“There is one question I’d really love to ask (One Heart!):
Is there a place for the hopeless sinner,
Who has hurt all mankind just to save his own beliefs?
—Bob Marley

The people in charge of literacy in most English-speaking countries are literacy’s worst enemies. This counterintuitive turn-about has to be one of the planet’s more bizarre stories.

The official experts praise a method, often called Whole Language, that doesn’t work. They insist that young teachers use this useless method. The teachers in turn force their students to embrace the method, and they make the parents tolerate the method. That’s how you get a never-ending illiteracy crisis.

By Bruce Deitrick Price - Wednesday, March 14, 2018 - Full Story

Graham is Gone—Are the Two Power Prophets Next?

Graham is Gone--Are the Two Power Prophets Next?
Since the passing of Billy Graham a plethora of voices has chimed in, each attempting to ascertain exactly what Graham’s death means in today’s world.

Graham’s daughter, Anne Graham Lotz, Pastor Greg Laurie of Harvest Christian Fellowship, and television’s Sid Roth are all saying that Graham’s death may create the “spark” for a national and perhaps an international revival.

By Rev. Michael Bresciani - Monday, March 12, 2018 - Full Story

I Won’t Die Sinning

I hope to die praying
Shortly before sundown, we drivers finished cultivating my father’s Mississippi Delta cotton fields, and no sooner had we parked our tractors than a long, steady, soaking summer rain began drumming on the shed’s tin roof — just what the bolls needed to finish filling with fiber.

As the thirsty earth drank its fill, we knew this downpour wasn’t just a “sharrain” (Dad’s way of saying “shower of rain”), but what he called a “sho-nuff, chunk-floatin’ crop maker.”

By Jimmy Reed - Monday, March 12, 2018 - Full Story

How cats and dogs are consuming and processing parabens

How cats and dogs are consuming and processing parabens
Many households can claim at least one four-legged friend as part of the family. But pets that primarily stay indoors can have increased rates of diseases, such as diabetes, kidney diseases and hypothyroidism compared with those that stay exclusively outside. Some scientists propose that chemical substances in the home could contribute to these illnesses. One group has examined how pets could be exposed to parabens, as reported in ACS’ journal Environmental Science & Technology.

By American Chemical Society - Monday, March 12, 2018 - Full Story

Timely Reflections on the Third Secret

Timely Reflections on the Third Secret
With the crisis of faith ever intensifying, it behooves the Catholic hierarchy to reflect on a historic statement made forty-one years ago by Pope Paul VI. On the occasion of the 60th Anniversary of the Virgin Mary’s last apparition at Fatima, the pope said:

“The tail of the devil is functioning in the disintegration of the Catholic World. The darkness of Satan has entered and spread throughout the Catholic Church even to its summit. Apostasy, the loss of the faith, is spreading throughout the world and into the highest levels within the Church.” (October 13, 1977)

By David Martin - Sunday, March 11, 2018 - Full Story

Invoke St. Gertrude for Gardens

Invoke St. Gertrude for Gardens
All good Irish along with many other envious mortals celebrate 17th March as St. Patrick’s Day. Even the English agriculturalist William Cobett admitted, “The Irish people are brave, generous, hospitable, laborious, and full of genius.” Better still for the horticultural fraternity, it is also the day dedicated to St. Gertrude of Nivelles (d.659) virgin and abbess whose name is invoked for gardens. Ask then, as they did in Finian’s Rainbow, ‘How Are Things in Glocca Morra?’ and maybe, just maybe, leprechauns like Og will answer, or so maintains Irish tribal folklore

By Wes Porter - Saturday, March 3, 2018 - Full Story

How Can You Stay So Optimistic?

How Can You Stay So Optimistic?
People ask often me “How can you spend so much time following the news and writing on the bizarre twists and turns of our political theater of the absurd and still remain so happy and optimistic?”

The answer is, “It’s easy because my hope is in Christ and all of this is just a soap opera.”

By Dr. Robert R. Owens - Friday, March 2, 2018 - Full Story

Can And Will

Can And Will
At her country store, Maya Angelou’s grandmother tolerated a few customers who were chronic complainers, but no matter how tough things got, her outlook on life remained positive, and she instilled that attitude in her granddaughter.

Once, when a bellyacher entered the store, she told Maya to listen. Sure enough, he whined about everything — work, weather, and so on. After he left, Maya’s grandmother spoke words of wisdom that became a guiding principle of Maya’s life:

By Jimmy Reed - Friday, March 2, 2018 - Full Story

Questions We’re Often Asked: Moth Orchid Care

Moth Orchid Care
Moth orchids—Phalaenopsis—are everywhere these days. From supermarket to local grocery store if you want one, you won’t have far to go.

By Wes Porter - Wednesday, February 28, 2018 - Full Story

Where is Fulton Sheen’s Sainthood?

Where is Fulton Sheen's Sainthood?

The Catholic religion inducts and celebrates its saints, and I would like to know what the holdup is regarding the late Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen (1895-1979). Why is he not yet a saint?

For those who do not know, Fulton Sheen hosted an extremely popular television show in the 1950s. A number of its episodes can be watched on the internet, so those who were born long after Fulton Sheen’s passing can catch a glimpse of what the man was like.

In his first year on television, Sheen won the Emmy for Most Outstanding Television Personality, winning over media giants Lucille Ball, Arthur Godfrey, Edward R. Murrow, and Jimmy Durante.—Thomas C. Reeves “Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen: Catholic Media’s Greatest Star

By Jim ONeill - Sunday, February 25, 2018 - Full Story

Potager du Roi: The King’s Vegetable Garden

Potager du Roi: The King's Vegetable Garden

Planning for a home vegetable garden this spring? Spare a thought for the French Sun King’s Potager du Roi at Versailles. Louis XIV (1643-1715) needed his 25 acres to support his vast court numbering some 10,000 nobles, officials and servants of every rank and pomposity.

Louis himself worked closely with his architect, Louis Le Vau, to create what is officially the Chateau de Versailles, although chateau seems something of an understatement for a building covering 67,000 square metres. Construction commenced in 1661 and although activities continued to 1710, the palace officially opened in May 1682 when Versailles became the capital of the kingdom, about 20 miles southwest of Paris. The surrounding 800 hectares of gardens were the work of Andre Le Notre—a story in themselves.

By Wes Porter - Saturday, February 24, 2018 - Full Story

Poisoning by Plant Cyanogens

Poisoning by Plant Cyanogens

Late last year a California visitor to Montreal was hospitalized with cyanide poisoning after treating himself to a package of apricot kernels. He survived. A week later it was reported that a 70-year-old Vermont retirement home resident had been arrested for attempting to poison other residents with home-made ricin. None succumbed.

Poisons fascinate us. Fortunately, few indulge in unlawfully ending life by such means. But who has not heard of Lucretia Borgia and her arsenic? A dubious story, yes, but fictional crime fills bookshelves. Agatha Christie used poison in at least five of her many novels. As did Sir Arthur Conan Doyle in two of his Sherlock Holms mysteries. And Rex Stout is to be credited with three, including Black Orchids. The very successful stage play Arsenic and Old Lace was turned into the equally successful movie filled with black humour starring Cary Grant.

By Wes Porter - Thursday, February 22, 2018 - Full Story

Pope Francis using respected charity foundation to bail out corrupt medical institute

Pope Francis using respected charity foundation to bail out corrupt medical institute
Last summer, Pope Francis asked the U.S. based Papal Foundation to direct $25 million to the Istituto Dermopatico dell’Immacolata (IDI), a dermatological hospital in Rome that has been plagued with corruption and financial scandal for years.

Founded in 1990, the Papal Foundation has a noble record of assisting popes in helping the poor in under-developed countries. Therefore, the $25-million grant requested by Francis has lay members of the Foundation up in arms, seeing that the money is going to the corruption-plagued, Church-owned dermatological institute accused of money laundering and which has liabilities of over $1 billion USD – an amount larger than the national debt of many nations.

By David Martin - Wednesday, February 21, 2018 - Full Story

Behold history’s worst Olympic halfpipe run. ...Also, oddly, one of history’s best

Meet Elizabeth Swaney
Meet Elizabeth Swaney.  She’s a thoroughly average skier, probably no better than anyone you could find at your average, regional, Mount Trashmore.  Unlike your average skier, she just competed in the PyeongChang Winter Olympics in women’s ski halfpipe.

Thanks to her ability to read the rules, she figured out a way to qualify while having little actual ability.

By Robert Laurie - Tuesday, February 20, 2018 - Full Story

A Crawfish Cook Calamity

A Crawfish Cook Calamity

That warm, spring Mississippi Delta Saturday was ideal for doing anything outdoors, but the calamitous way it turned out was less than ideal.

When it comes to preparing delicious, deep-south cuisine, nobody outperformed my lifelong best friend and mentor, the old black man known affectionately by all as Jaybird. When we asked him to boil several hundred pounds of crawfish, he said, “Sho’ — get the water boilin’; let’s enjoy some country-style cuttin’ up.”

By Jimmy Reed - Tuesday, February 20, 2018 - Full Story

The Latest Buzz on Neonicotinoids

The Latest Buzz on Neonicotinoids
Controversy has accompanied neonicotinoid pesticides ever since their commercial introduction in the mid-1990s. Discovered by Japanese researchers at a Bayer lab in Tokyo while working on an earlier, 1970s, pesticide created in California, it was released as imidacloprid in the 1990s. Within a decade it, along with clothianidin, also made by Bayer, and thiamethoxam from Syngenta, were accounting for 25 percent of all global insecticide sales.

Protests commenced almost as quickly, however. French apiarists blamed imidacloprid-coated sunflower seeds, introduced in 1994, for their honeybee losses. Five vears later such treated seed was banned in France.

By Wes Porter - Thursday, February 15, 2018 - Full Story