Tuesday, April 30, 2019

The Language of Gloves

From Geri Walton:
Women first began to wear gloves as a fashion accessory in the 13th century, despite many people viewing them as a display of vanity. These gloves were made from linen and silk and reached to the elbow. Sometime in the 1600s, gloves known as “chicken-skin gloves” became popular and were worn by both sexes. They were made of “thin, strong leather … dressed with almonds and spermaceti [a white waxy substance produced by sperm whales], and … the softening, balmy nature [of them] soften[ed], clear[ed], smooth[ed], and [made] white the hands and arms.”[5] Some people liked these chicken gloves so much they occasionally slept in them to ‘bleach the[ir] hands’ properly.”[6] Because of their name you might think the gloves were made from chicken skin, but German women gave them the name because of “their innocent, effectual quality,”[7] and if the gloves were made from chicken skin at all, it didn’t last long as they were quickly superseded by other materials, such as the skin of unborn calves. (Read more.)


From Chronicles:
It is evident that the children of Rousseau and Marx have grasped the reins of power and seek to fumigate the West of any remaining whiff of the heritage of Christendom by associating every Western institution with the sins of the White Man. The increasing arrogance and heavy-handedness of the left has cultivated the ground for the Alt-Right, mostly young men who have not the slightest interest in being browbeaten for being white. Bereft, however, both of a true sense of their heritage and of moral formation, those who are “red-pilled” know of nothing to bind them together and give them purpose besides “white racial consciousness,” which is utterly foreign to the development of the civilization they claim to defend. Thus, they pervert the entire Western tradition by claiming that its sine qua non is neither logosnor the Logos made Flesh, but instead the genetic endowments of generic Europeans, or whites—who were, in actuality, groping their way in the dark before the transformative Gospel was brought to them from outside, purely by the grace of God. 
Buoyed by their anonymous online friends whose imaginations have been deformed by vile “ironic” memes that make light of evil and depict Muslims as subhuman, a few of them will commit heinous crimes “IRL,” purportedly in “defense” of the West. What do I have to lose? they reason. Or in the words of Tarrant, “WHY DON’T I DO SOMETHING?” (Read more.)

Our Christian Past

From The Spectator:
Declarations of hope that Notre Dame can be resurrected have been much in evidence this Holy Week. Such is the lesson of Easter: that life can come from death. Unlike the Eiffel Tower, that other great emblem of Paris, Notre Dame provides the French with evidence that their modern and secular republic has its foundations deeply rooted in the Middle Ages. Notre Dame has always been more than just an assemblage of stone and stained glass. It is a monument as well to a specifically Christian past. 
Last summer, one of the world’s best-known scientists, a man as celebrated for his polemics against religion as for his writings on evolutionary biology, sat in another cathedral, Winchester, listening to the bells peal. ‘So much nicer than the aggressive-sounding “Allahu Akhbar”,’ Richard Dawkins tweeted. ‘Or is that just my cultural upbringing?’ A preference for church bells over the sound of Muslims praising God does not just emerge by magic. Dawkins — agnostic, secularist and humanist that he is — absolutely has the instincts of someone brought up in a Christian civilisation. Perhaps, then, the debt of the contemporary West to Christianity is more deeply rooted than many — believers and non-believers alike — might presume. (Read more.)

Prayers Pope Benedict XVI Requested for All the Laity to Know in Latin

From Sensus Fidelium:
The Apostles’ Creed
I believe in God the Father almighty,
Creator of heaven and earth.
And in Jesus Christ, His only Son,
our Lord, Who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the Virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried.
He descended into hell; the third day
He rose again from the dead;
He ascended into heaven, and sits at
the right hand of God the Father
almighty, from thence He shall come
to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy Catholic Church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body
and life everlasting.

Symbolum Apostolicum
Credo in Deum Patrem omnipoténtem, Creatorem cæli et terræ,  et in Iesum Christum, Filium Eius unicum, Dominum nostrum, qui concéptus est de Spíritu Sancto, natus ex Maria Virgine, passus sub Póntio Piláto, crucifixus, mórtuus, et sepúltus, descéndit ad ínfernos, tértia die resurréxit a mórtuis, ascéndit ad cælos, sedet ad déxteram Dei Patris omnipoténtis, inde ventúrus est iudicáre vivos et mórtuos.
Credo in Spíritum Sanctum,
sanctam Ecclésiam cathólicam,
sanctórum communiónem,
remissiónem peccatórum,
carnis resurrectiónem,
vitam ætérnam. Amen.

(Read more.)

Monday, April 29, 2019

Paris Through the Eyes of Henri IV

From The History Reader:
Henri IV made sure not to burden the workers with the costs of his extensive building and reconstruction projects. To pay for the Pont Neuf, for instance, he taxed every cask of wine that came into the city. Enthroned in the Louvre Palace, issuing pardons to all combatants, making his visionary plans for the restoration of the broken city, he won the people’s allegiance. “We must be brought to agreement by reason and kindness,” he wrote, “and not by strictness and cruelty which serve only to arouse men.” In this magnanimous spirit, he drafted and signed the Edict of Nantes, granting tolerance and freedom of worship to the reformist religion in 1598 (the same year he undertook the Pont Neuf, originally planned by the Valois king Henri III). Such was his popularity that even the most rigid Catholics chose not to make war against Henri’s mandated tolerance. 
Born into the House of Bourbon and raised in the southwest, in the kingdom of Navarre, at the time a small independent realm in the Basque country between France and Spain, he had the Gascon temperament described by Balzac as “bold, brave, adventurous, prone to exaggerate the good and belittle the bad,… laughing at vice when it serves as a stepping stone.” At every stage, Henri IV was a charmer, “his eyes full of sweetness,… his whole mien animated with an uncommon vivacity,” to quote one magistrate. The northern, more cerebral French regarded the men of the South, who spoke Provençal, as foreigners. 
Henri IV was baptized in the Catholic Church but was given a Protestant tutor after his parents converted to Protestantism. When his father—but not his mother—returned to the Church, he gave his son a Catholic tutor. The boy, however, kept his mother’s reformed faith, even while studying in Catholic Paris at the College of Navarre on the hill of Sainte Geneviève. (Read more.)

Utter Ignorance and Constitutional Illiteracy

From the Conservative Review:
Wednesday night on the radio, LevinTV host Mark Levin decried the “utter ignorance and constitutional illiteracy” surrounding the possibility that President Trump may invoke executive privilege to keep former White House counsel Don McGahn from testifying before the House of Representatives. Levin called out House Judiciary Chair Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., for saying that the time to assert executive privilege on this matter “has long since passed” because it wasn’t invoked during the Mueller probe. “This is a separation of powers issue. A president must be able to talk to his own counsel,” Levin countered. “And the president must determine who his own counsel can talk to about what they talked about.” 
“He never waived executive privilege vis-a-vis another branch of government,” Levin continued. “Never.” (Read more.)

A Nation of Iagos

From Andrew Klavan at City Journal:
CAN WE FINALLY HAVE A REAL CONVERSATION ABOUT RACE? a recent headline read. And I thought: I’m game. I’d be happy to talk about race. But with whom? No leftists, certainly. The Left’s idea of a conversation is shrieking, “You’re a racist!” at anyone who opposes their policies. And their policies are a racial disaster. Employment rates were rising and illegitimacy and murder rates were falling among American blacks until the Left seized the culture in the 1960s—then the numbers all went in the wrong direction. You want to visit a place where black lives don’t matter? Try Chicago, where Democrats have been in charge since 1931, or Baltimore, where there hasn’t been a Republican mayor since 1967. After heavy antipolice demonstrations, both cities saw a dramatic surge in their already-disastrous murder rates last year, according to FBI statistics. What can leftists have to say about race besides “We’re sorry”?

I have more sympathy with the bromides of the Right, but let’s face it, they are bromides. Yes, bourgeois behaviors like education, marriage, and hard work still forge the way out of poverty in America. But I’ve seen schools in poor black neighborhoods, and I’ve met children there, and I think if you’re eight years old and your dad is gone and your mom’s on drugs and all your role models are gangsters . . . well, maybe it’s not so easy to get your bourgeois game on. But then, are we still having a conversation about race? Or are we just talking about poverty? Is race even an actual thing? Is it really a meaningful genetic category? Can it be isolated as a cultural fact? Does it exist anywhere but in the minds of bigots, Left and Right? Let’s start with that conversation. (Read more.)

The "Batututs” of Vietnam

From War History Online:
Sightings of rock apes by Viet Cong and NVA troops were also common enough that an NVA General organized an expedition in 1974 to try to capture or at least kill one. Everyone has heard of cryptids – mysterious creatures, the existence of which is disputed by mainstream science – such as the Loch Ness Monster, the sasquatch (aka Bigfoot), the yeti (also called the Abominable Snowman), or the dinosaur-like mokele-mbembe of the jungles of Central Africa. 
While “rock apes,” or “batututs” as they are called in Vietnam, are nowhere near as well-known as the aforementioned cryptids, sightings of these mysterious creatures by American troops in the jungles of Vietnam throughout the course of the Vietnam War were surprisingly numerous, with many witnesses giving extremely detailed accounts of sightings.

One particular hill in Vietnam was the site of so many rock ape sightings that it became known as Monkey Mountain. While no corpses of these strange creatures were ever recovered, or any clear pictures taken of them, the fact that sightings of them were so widespread and common throughout the war makes them worthy at least of an investigation. (Read more.)

Sunday, April 28, 2019

The Medieval Box Bed

From Ancient Origins:
While they seem a bit odd or even claustrophobic to us today, box beds were a very practical solution to a lot of problems faced by people living in Medieval Europe. Firstly, they provided a private space. Many families slept in the same room at that point, and poorer families often lived in dwellings with only one room even as recently as the Victorian era , particularly in rural communities. The beds meant that people were able to retreat to a private part of the room, and they also helped to divide the room up. 
Furthermore, as the beds were built in boxes which were usually raised off the ground, they provided storage space. They usually had a large bench in front of them which could be used as seating, and which also had space for storage. The drawers under the bed or bench were sometimes pulled out to use as a bed for younger family members or guests – the original hide-a-bed. It is also noteworthy that a lot of surviving examples, and the regions where the box bed prevailed the longest, are in regions such as Scandinavia, which are mercilessly cold during the winter. 
The enclosed nature of the box bed means they are very warm and keeping warm could be a matter of life or death in Medieval times – this probably explains why box beds were in use in frigid Scandinavia for longer than elsewhere. (Read more.)

Banned From Selling Apples

From Todd Starnes:
A federal judge will decide if a Michigan farm owned by a Catholic military veteran will be allowed to sell their apples at a city-owned farmer’s market. In 2016 Steve and Bridget Tennes, devout Catholics and military veterans, were banned from the East Lansing Farmer’s Market because of their religious beliefs regarding marriage. I write extensively about the case in my upcoming book, “Culture Jihad: How to Stop the Left From Killing a Nation.” 
“Our mission on our farm is to glorify God by facilitating family fun on the farm and feeding families,” Steve told me on my nationally-syndicated radio program. “I was born and raised on this farm. My wife and I left the military to come back to the farm and raise our six children here. They are involved in everything we do.” They had been asked via Facebook whether they would host a same-sex marriage at Country Mill Farms. The Tennes family declined citing their belief that marriage is between one man and one woman. 
East Lansing city leaders accused the Catholic family of discrimination. “It doesn’t have anything to do with their religious beliefs,” Mayor Mark Meadows told the Lansing State Journal. “Country Mill is a corporation. It is not an individual. The last time I heard it doesn’t have religious activities.” First, the city kicked the farmers out of the farmers market and then they crafted a policy that would keep them out permanently. (Read more.)

The New Dreyfus

From Fox News:
The time for an accounting has arrived for former senior members of the FBI and Intelligence Community. They aided and abetted in propagating a false narrative about the Trump campaign colluding with Russians, accused the President of the United States of being a “traitor,” and misled the American people. They made Donald J. Trump the Alfred Dreyfus of the 21st century: a completely innocent man, framed by his own government because of who he was (Dreyfus, a Jew, was the victim of French anti-Semitism) and not what he did. Dreyfus was framed of spying for the Germans based on a forged document. Trump was framed by a fraudulent dossier. Worse, the framing was done as a distraction to cover up for those who weaponized our law enforcement and intelligence tools against a political opponent. President Trump deserves an apology from them all. (Read more.)

How TV Violates the Mind

From Intellectual Takeout:
A typical critique of time spent watching TV and being entertained usually follows the thought that it is all a waste of time. Whether or not you believe that, let’s just think about the power to influence a person’s mind if he’s willing to watch TV for 4 ½ hours each day and plugged into something electronic of any kind for 9 ½ each day.

The TV really is an incredible tool for those wanting to influence and shape a culture. The end-users freely give themselves to you each day for many hours to be influenced in front of a screen. As a result, not only do you purposefully alter the opinions and attitudes of the audience, but you also make heaps of money in the process. What’s not to love if you’re the one running things?

On the other hand, for a smaller minority of thinkers it might be a bit alarming to consider that happening day in and day out for many decades to millions upon millions of Americans. Arguably, if you find yourself in that camp you probably think there is a great danger to such a passive conditioning of the population. And if you do, you’re not alone. (Read more.)

Saturday, April 27, 2019

Mozart’s Least-Loved Opera

From The New York Times:
Mozart wrote “Clemenza” on commission in 1791 for the coronation of Leopold II as king of Bohemia. In the opera, a Roman emperor forgives his friend, who had been compelled by love to conspire against him. The 1734 libretto, by Pietro Metastasio, already felt sclerotic by Mozart’s theatrical standards; he tweaked it to create ensemble numbers amid the sequence of dry recitatives and pomp-and-firework arias that made up a traditional opera seria. Even so, an Austrian nobleman who attended the premiere called it “most boring” in his diary. The new queen, Maria Luisa, struggled to stay awake. Reports that she called the opera “una porcheria tedesca” — German pigswill — may be apocryphal. Or perhaps she bristled at the work’s political message, which presented clemency and tolerance as a ruler’s supreme virtues just weeks after Marie Antoinette had been arrested midflight and forcibly returned to Paris amid jeering crowds. After all, the production Leopold and Maria Luisa watched in Prague was in contemporary dress. (Read more.)

Armenia's Agony

April 24 marks the anniversary of the Armenian genocide where more than 1.5 million Christians were annihilated by the Islamic Ottoman Empire. Modern-day Turkey, the successor state of the Ottoman Empire, continues to deny that genocide occurred even though Muslims systematically killed unarmed Armenian Christian men, women and children — most of whom were inhabitants of the Ottoman Empire — in a two-year period from 1915–1917. In addition to mass murder, the well-documented atrocities included:
  • Rape of women and children
  • Confiscation and theft of the property and possessions of the deportee population
  • Starvation, never being given food or water
  • Impaling infants, children and pregnant women, including crucifixion
  • Locking deportees in churches or other structures and burning them alive
  • Death marches into the desert

From PJ Media:
Today, April 24, marks the “Great Crime,” that is, the genocide of Christians—mostly Armenians but also Assyrians—that took place under the Islamic Ottoman Empire throughout World War I. Then, the Turks liquidated approximately 1.5 million Armenians and 300,000 Assyrians. Most objective American historians who have studied the question unequivocally agree that it was a deliberate, calculated genocide:
More than one million Armenians perished as the result of execution, starvation, disease, the harsh environment, and physical abuse. A people who lived in eastern Turkey for nearly 3,000 years [more than double the amount of time the invading Islamic Turks had occupied Anatolia, now known as “Turkey”] lost its homeland and was profoundly decimated in the first large-scale genocide of the twentieth century. At the beginning of 1915 there were some two million Armenians within Turkey; today there are fewer than 60,000…. Despite the vast amount of evidence that points to the historical reality of the Armenian Genocide, eyewitness accounts, official archives, photographic evidence, the reports of diplomats, and the testimony of survivors, denial of the Armenian Genocide by successive regimes in Turkey has gone on from 1915 to the present.
Similarly, in 1920, U.S. Senate Resolution 359 heard testimony that included evidence of “[m]utilation, violation, torture, and death [which] have left their haunting memories in a hundred beautiful Armenian valleys, and the traveler in that region is seldom free from the evidence of this most colossal crime of all the ages.” 
In her memoir, Ravished Armenia, Aurora Mardiganian described being raped and thrown into a harem (consistent with Islam’s rules of war). Unlike thousands of other Armenian girls who were discarded after being defiled, she managed to escape. In the city of Malatia, she saw 16 Christian girls crucified: “Each girl had been nailed alive upon her cross,” she wrote, “spikes through her feet and hands, only their hair blown by the wind, covered their bodies.” Such scenes were portrayed in the 1919 documentary film Auction of Souls, some of which is based on Mardiganian’s memoirs. 
Whereas the genocide is largely acknowledged in the West, one of its primary if not fundamental causes is habitually overlooked: religion. The genocide is usually articulated through a singularly secular paradigm, one that factors only things that are intelligible from a secular, Western point of view—such as identity and gender politics, nationalism, and territorial disputes. Such an approach does little more than project modern Western perspectives onto vastly different civilizations and eras. (Read more.) 

From Unherd:
This is not the only recent discovery. A French researcher working at the Gladstone archive in Wales recently unearthed some documentation detailing his fascination with the so-called Eastern Question, and specifically with the condition of the Armenian minorities living under Ottoman rule. Deep in the archive she found an annotated translation of a pamphlet titled “Dying Armenia and Christian Europe” written by a French missionary detailing the murder of Christian Armenians in the 1890’s. One passage Gladstone apparently marked with a red pen:
“The Turkish government knew beforehand of the purposed attempt and had taken the necessary measures, not to prevent the revolutionary action of a few foreign Armenians, but to organise, owing to this welcome opportunity, a universal massacre of Christians belonging to the peaceful inhabitants of Constantinople.”
And this was before the peak of the genocide in 1915. The missionary continues: “The great and terrible tragedy of Armenia is, however for the time (I trust for the time only) out of sight, if not out of mind.” (Read more.

A Nation of Dunces

From The Washington Times:
“Whenever the people are well-informed, they can be trusted with their own government.” So wrote Thomas Jefferson in 1789. But if Jefferson were to read the results of the latest survey from the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation, he might seriously doubt modern America’s capacity for self-governance. It shows that most Americans would fail even a basic citizenship test. 
Today, 60% of college graduates cannot name a single step necessary to ratify a constitutional amendment; half don’t know how long the terms are for representatives or senators. Two out of five don’t know that Congress has the power to declare war. The First Amendment prohibits an “establishment of religion” and guarantees the “free exercise of religion,” yet a majority of Americans believe that the Constitution established a Christian nation. One in 10 think Congress could actually “outlaw atheism because the United States is one country under God.” (Read more.)

The World's Oldest Temple

Six miles from Urfa, an ancient city in southeastern Turkey, Klaus Schmidt has made one of the most startling archaeological discoveries of our time: massive carved stones about 11,000 years old, crafted and arranged by prehistoric people who had not yet developed metal tools or even pottery. The megaliths predate Stonehenge by some 6,000 years. The place is called Gobekli Tepe, and Schmidt, a German archaeologist who has been working here more than a decade, is convinced it's the site of the world's oldest temple. 
"Guten Morgen," he says at 5:20 a.m. when his van picks me up at my hotel in Urfa. Thirty minutes later, the van reaches the foot of a grassy hill and parks next to strands of barbed wire. We follow a knot of workmen up the hill to rectangular pits shaded by a corrugated steel roof—the main excavation site. In the pits, standing stones, or pillars, are arranged in circles. Beyond, on the hillside, are four other rings of partially excavated pillars. Each ring has a roughly similar layout: in the center are two large stone T-shaped pillars encircled by slightly smaller stones facing inward. The tallest pillars tower 16 feet and, Schmidt says, weigh between seven and ten tons. As we walk among them, I see that some are blank, while others are elaborately carved: foxes, lions, scorpions and vultures abound, twisting and crawling on the pillars' broad sides. (Read more.)

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Friday, April 26, 2019

Old St Paul’s: The Tudor Rose and the Spanish Pomegranate Entwine

Arthur, Prince of Wales and Katherine of Aragon
 We begin our journey in Lambeth on Friday 12 November, 1501. Katherine was meant to set out for the city from Lambeth Palace on the south bank of the Thames, home to the then Archbishop of Canterbury, Henry Deane. However, the palace had been ‘dismantled’ after the recent death of Archbishop Moreton. With the new Archbishop unable to prepare the princess’ lodging in time, she was apparently put up at La Place, the Bishop of Rochester’s residence, also in Lambeth. It was from here that Katherine began the final leg of her eventful journey, which had begun in Spain on 27 September, some six weeks earlier.
According to The Receyt of the Ladie Katheryne, having dined at La Place, the Princess assembled her Spanish retinue and set out along the south bank, towards Southwark, which lay to the east of Lambeth. She is described as having ‘a rich apparel on her body after the manor of Spain’, i.e. Katherine was dressed according to Spanish fashion. Most of the description of her attire, though, is focused on her head; the princess sported a carnation coloured coif beneath a ‘little hat’, fashioned ‘like a cardinal’s hat’; her hair was worn loose, ‘hanging down about her shoulders’, and described as being ‘fair auburn’ in colour. (Read more.)

Why We Hide The Truth About Abortion

From The Federalist:
We are a culture awash in self-acceptance. But human nature being what it is, we are also a people awash in guilt. We betray, we use other people, we tell lies to ourselves and to others, we are selfish and egotistical. Without a cultural vocabulary to put this guilt in its proper context, our only recourse is to deny that it’s there. This is seldom more apparent than in the way we speak of—and try not to speak of—abortion.

With the abortion tally close to 60 million at this point, almost no one can say he or she has not been in proximate or remote connection to one. Countless people go through life with the guilt of having been complicit in some way, either by accompanying, encouraging, abandoning, or undergoing an abortion.

The reason gang initiations, especially murderous ones, happen is because complicity is a powerful tool. You are in this tribe now, united in the blood of guilt. Complicity distorts our reason, perverts our objectivity, and leaves us with misplaced, irrational loyalties. It also makes us recoil when others state obvious truths. There’s nothing more offensive than hearing the truth we are trying to silence in ourselves.
We don’t want to face abortion. We generally ignore the March for Life despite it growing larger and younger. When the movie “Unplanned” came out, it was given an R rating and Twitter suspended its account. Other outlets simply refused to advertise it. It is a hard and horrifying movie to watch, not because it is excessive, but because abortion is hard and horrifying. We know there is more there than “products of conception,” and that what is at stake is of greater consequence than the mere  timing of our motherhood. But because we are all so complicit we have to pretend it is not what it is. (Read more.)

From Life News:
More human beings died in abortions than any other cause of death in 2018, a new report indicates. A heartbreaking reminder about the prevalence of abortion, statistics compiled by Worldometers indicate that there were nearly 42 million abortions world-wide in 2018. The independent site collects data from governments and other reputable organizations and then reports the data, along with estimates and projections, based on those numbers. Breitbart contrasted the abortion numbers to other causes of death, including cancer, HIV/AIDS, traffic accidents and suicide, and found that abortions far outnumbered every other cause.
Here’s more from the report:
As of December 31, 2018, there have been some 41.9 million abortions performed in the course of the year, Worldometers revealed. By contrast, 8.2 million people died from cancer in 2018, 5 million from smoking, and 1.7 million died of HIV/AIDS. …It also records the total number of abortions in the world, based on the latest statistics on abortions published by the World Health Organization (WHO). Globally, just under a quarter of all pregnancies (23 percent) were ended by abortion in 2018, and for every 33 live births, ten infants were aborted.
Worldometers estimates about 59 million deaths world-wide in 2018, but that number does not include unborn babies’ abortion deaths. Unborn babies are not recognized as human beings even though biology indicates that they are unique, living human beings from the moment of conception and they die brutal, violent deaths in abortions. (Read more.)

From Life Site:
Speaking to a Vitae Foundation event, West cautioned the crowd about abortion's racist outcomes. "I came from the same neighborhood as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr," the Fox News contributor and African-American leader said. "Since the Roe decision, almost 15 million African American children won’t know about Dr. King’s dream." 
West said he "cannot think of" a better time for the pro-life movement to go on the "offense" than after this election cycle. He likened the pro-life movement's recent political victories to the U.S. Army's actions after battle, which are always reviewed even if they were successful. West stressed that achieving political victory doesn't mean the pro-life movement can relax yet. "We will not be truly blessed as a nation until we right this wrong" of abortion, he said. “If we are a country that continues to have a business in killing our future generations, God will not bless America.” (Read more.) 

From The National Review:
It’s also a time when a pro-life movie can become a surprise hit despite a media blackout and hostility from much of the filmmaking community. Box Office Mojo reports that the movie, which was released on March 29, has pulled in more than $8.6 million in North American theater revenue. That puts the film in fourth place for the week, trailing only mega-budget pictures Dumbo, Us, and Captain Marvel. 
Unplanned is different from any other film that has been made on the abortion issue. It tells the true story of Abby Johnson, a Texas woman who became one the youngest clinic directors in Planned Parenthood history and was named the organization’s employee of the year in 2008. But even though she had undergone two abortions herself, she didn’t know much about the actual procedure. Then came the day when, in an emergency, she was asked to assist in an ultrasound-guided abortion. 
“Some images stick with you forever, images that you can’t unsee,” she wrote in her 2010 memoir. “The fetus was thirteen weeks old and I could easily see its head, arms, and legs. The abortion instrument — a suction tube — was on the screen as well. The baby jumped away from it but it was all for naught. The abortionist turned on the suction and I saw that baby get sucked apart right in front of me on the screen. . . . In mere seconds, that fetus’ life ended and the screen only showed a black, empty uterus. The life that was there just a couple minutes ago was gone. In that moment, I saw for myself what I was supporting for the last eight years and it broke me.” (Read more.) 

From The Federalist:
I left Planned Parenthood nine years ago after assisting in an ultrasound-guided abortion of a 13-week-old fetus. I saw the unborn child struggle for its life against the abortion instruments. I saw the empty uterus on the screen where life had been just moments before. This story is now a major motion picture released in theaters nationwide, called “Unplanned.” While the movie defied industry expectations at the box office, attention has also been drawn to an article written about my story soon after I left the abortion industry. I had never felt the need to respond to the false claims in this story until now. (Read more.)

The Medical Scandal that the Mainstream Media Ignores

From The Public Discourse:
As I examined the practice of pediatric transgender medical care, I was disturbed by what I learned. Therapists and clinicians are trained not to question children’s new identities; in many states and municipalities across the US, this is against the law. Even more shocking is the unchallenged medical protocol that alters children’s bodies in serious and irreversible ways. 
Drugs are used to block puberty in pre-teens, impacting their future fertility. Teen boys are treated with feminizing hormones, while girls as young as 13 are offered mastectomies, and at the tender age of 12, they are injected with testosterone. (It was recently revealed that in 2017, the age of testosterone treatment for girls in this $5.7 million taxpayer-funded NIH study was lowered to eight years old.) 
There is no objective test on which to base such invasive medical interventions, nor a single long-term study that supports their medical necessity. These hormonal treatments and irreversible surgeries are based on unprovable identities, resulting from myriad complex issues, that are likely to change over time. This is not evidence-based medicine
Clinicians successfully obtain parents’ consent to these risky, and likely regrettable, hormonal and surgical treatments. They use false, coercive assurances that they are lifesaving and necessary to prevent their children’s likely suicide. In fact, serious complications, sterility, and loss of sexual function are the likely immediate outcomes of this medical experiment on children. And the long-term consequences are simply unknown. This is a medical scandal. Yet few people know anything about this thanks to the failure of the mainstream media. (Read more.)


From Aleteia:
Impressed by such historical heritage, Villiers adopted the estate as the setting of his show. More than 600 actors joined him in Les Epesses, giving rise to an epic theater show called Cinéscénie. Today, that same abandoned estate has been turned into one of the most wondrous historic theme parks in the world. “Puy du Fou,” literally “peak of madness,” recreates key moments of French history over a 135-acre reserve dotted with ancient amphitheaters, castles and farms. An estimated 2,000 volunteers dressed up as revolutionaries, farmers and priests entertain the park’s daily visitors, which add up to 25,000 during peak season.
Theater shows and live performances recreate specific moments of French history: gladiators fighting for their freedom in a Roman amphitheater, musketeers fighting for medieval kings, Vikings riding their longships. As Gaëtan Favreau, a representative for Puy du Fou, told the National Catholic Register, the shows are a way to help visitors connect with their roots. “Human beings always need to feel they are from somewhere; they need to feel that they belong to a community with its own habits and traditions” he said. “This community is, in fact, called civilization.”
One of the highlights of “Puy du Fou” performances is the Cinéscénie, an epic family saga that follows the adventure of a local family from the 14th century up to the Second World War. For many visitors, learning about local history means to learn about a brutal chapter of the French Revolution, when the French revolutionary army crashed the Catholic resistance. That’s why when the rest of the country celebrates the anniversary of the French Revolution on July 14, people in Vendée honour the local “commander-saint,” Jacques Cathelineau, who was killed while fighting for the Church. (Read more.)

Thursday, April 25, 2019

Éowyn, Shieldmaiden of Rohan

From TOR:
Éowyn’s healing and her acceptance of Faramir’s marriage proposal has been problematized by numerous feminist readings of the text, and rightly so: I don’t wish to undermine those readings and indeed agree that in some respect, Éowyn’s own will and choices are overshadowed by Faramir’s. Éowyn’s sudden “conversion,” as it were, makes little sense logically, and no reason beyond the emotional is given for it; but it is also clearly a moment of epiphany. It stands in for the moment in which the soul is literally enlightened by the salvific light of the spiritual. Not insignificantly, the couple stands in a high tower, named after the greatest of Arda’s lights, when this “conversion” takes place: “‘I stand in Minas Anor, the Tower of the Sun,’ [Éowyn] said; ‘and behold! the Shadow has departed! I will be a shieldmaiden no longer, nor vie with the great Riders, nor take joy only in the songs of slaying. I will be a healer, and love all things that grow and are not barren’” (VI, v, 964-965). 
Critics have further taken issue with the seeming illogical nature of Éowyn’s decision to give up her inclination towards war, but I would encourage us to read this as (in this context) the appropriate and even expected response of a soul that has been brought out of darkness. Faramir, significantly, makes the same decision along with her: together they turn their backs on war (a specific form of violence which desecrates and even denies connections and communion with others and with the earth) and jointly dedicate their lives to cultivating a healthy and evolving relationship with their environment. 
Éowyn’s original desire to be queen, as Faramir recognizes, was a desire “‘to be lifted far above the mean things that crawl on the earth’” (VI, v, 964). It was a misguided understanding, in other words, of exactly what the soul’s ascent (glorification, perhaps) means: her desire was appropriate, though it found expression in an unethical relationship with the world and those around her, influenced by the world and society she had always known. When Faramir explains to the Warden of the Houses of Healing that “‘now [Éowyn] is healed’” (VI, v, 965), then, he is referring to a healing that is profoundly both spiritual and material, a healing that takes the form of ethical communion with the world. Once Éowyn desired “‘to be lifted far above the mean things that crawl on the earth,’” a natural expression of her culture’s values and social structure; now, healed, she becomes a gardener and a pacifist, working among the things of the earth, loving them and caring for them in a way that is all her own. (Read more.)

Deplorable Duke

From Tom Piatak at Chronicles:
Wayne was well-known to be a partisan Republican, and the Democrats controlled both houses of Congress and the White House, but Congress was no more able to ignore O’Hara than Wayne’s Sean Thornton had been able to ignore O’Hara’s Mary Kate Danaher in their most memorable collaboration, The Quiet Man.  The bill honoring Wayne passed the Senate by voice vote, passed the House unanimously, and was signed into law by Jimmy Carter, with the medal bearing the inscription requested by O’Hara. 
O’Hara had plenty of support, of course, from figures as diverse as General of the Army Omar Bradley, Frank Sinatra, and Hollywood liberals Gregory Peck and Katherine Hepburn.  And Wayne’s greatness was also recognized by another liberal, film critic Roger Ebert, who wrote in 1979 that Wayne “brought life to his bad movies and greatness to his good ones.” (Read more.)


Poet Against Empire

From Philip Jenkins at Chronicles:
The affair shows how far the U.S. political spectrum had shifted since December 1941. Before Pearl Harbor, isolationist and America First views were thoroughly respectable, and even mainstream: The America First Committee was an authentic grassroots mass movement, the youthful supporters of which included both John F. Kennedy and Gerald Ford. By 1948, in contrast, Jeffers’ poems made him sound like a fascist diehard, which he assuredly was not. And all this at a time when FDR had achieved a kind of secular sanctity, so that Jeffers seemed to be spouting blasphemy. In his distant fastness at Carmel, he looked less like a prophetic Western visionary than a ranting foe of democracy and modernity, a Californian counterpart to Ezra Pound. 
The Double Axe affair certainly did not end his career, and his dramatic works enjoyed spectacular global success, especially his Medea. But if other poets and authors continued to adore him, his stock in the public market fell catastrophically. For decades, he was not taught in academe, and only recently has he regained some popularity as a pioneering Modernist. That, in short, is how one of the truly great American writers dropped off the cultural map. 
I began by quoting an iconic American film, so let me end in the same vein. In Sunset Boulevard (1950), a faded silent-movie actress angrily rejects the suggestion that she used to belong to the big time. “I am big,” she says: “It’s the pictures that got small.” We might say something similar about Robinson Jeffers, who asserted big values and ideas in a diminished culture, a shrunken public square. It was not that the grand causes that he championed had lost their relevance or shriveled in significance in his final years—far from it. Ideally, those issues should have been central to cultural debate in the decades following his death, in the turmoil of the 1960’s, and in the forward march of the military-imperial state. It was not that Jeffers had slipped from the big time, but rather that the culture had become too small-minded to hear his words, too limited to comprehend their Classical and Biblical underpinnings. (Read more.)

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Charles II: Art and Power

The Sea Triumph of Charles II by A. Verrio, 1674
Like his first cousin Louis XIV, Charles II of Great Britain understood the uses of art and theater. From The Royal Collection:
After over a decade of austere Cromwellian rule, the restoration of the monarchy in 1660 led to a resurgence of the arts in England. The court of Charles II became the centre for the patronage of leading artists and the collecting of great works of art, which served not only as decoration for the royal apartments but also as a means of glorifying the restored monarchy and reinforcing the position of Charles II as the rightful king. Old master paintings and spectacular silver furniture show the rich material world of Charles II's court and the role of the arts in the re-establishment of the Stuart monarchy. (Read more.)
Barbara Villiers

More HERE, HERE and HERE. Share

The Sixties and the Church Scandals

From The New York Post:
When Pope Benedict XVI resigned the papacy in 2013, he vowed to live the rest of his days in seclusion, to serve the Catholic Church “through a life dedicated to prayer.” But the church’s spiraling abuse crisis prompted him this week to ­return to the limelight. The retired pontiff has drafted a 6,000-word document in his native German and aims to publish it in a monthly periodical for clergy in his home region of Bavaria. Benedict says the document, an English translation of which I’ve reviewed, is meant to assist the Church in seeking “a new beginning” and making her “again truly credible as a light among peoples and as a force in service against the powers of ­destruction.” 
In the preface, he makes it clear that he is “no longer directly responsible” for the church and that he consulted Pope Francis before ­resolving to make the document public. Nevertheless, Benedict’s “The Church and the Scandal of Sexual Abuse” has the unmistakable ring of a papal document. You might even call it a post-retirement encyclical. 
It’s written with his signature precision and clarity of insight and offers a piercing account of the origins of the crisis and a ­vision of the way forward. The church’s still-radiating crisis, Benedict suggests, was a product of the moral laxity that swept the West, and not just the church, in the 1960s. The young rebels of 1968, Benedict writes, fought for “all-out sexual freedom, one which no longer conceded any norms.” 
Benedict adds: “Part of the physiognomy of the Revolution of 1968 was that pedophilia was now also diagnosed as allowed and appropriate.” This might strike contemporary readers as puzzling. But those who lived through that wretched decade will remember that some of the leading ’68ers also advocated “anti-authoritarian education,” which involved some pretty ­unsavory interactions between adults and children. Hippie communes weren’t child-friendly places, either. 
“I have always wondered how young people in this situation could approach the priesthood and accept it, with all its ramifications,” Benedict writes. “The extensive collapse of the next generation of priests in those years and the very high number of laicizations were consequence of all these processes.” The church, in other words, was no more immune to the disorders of that decade and its aftermath than the rest of society. (Read more.)

About Pearls

From Business Insider:
Pearls have been a symbol of elegance and class for centuries. The Maharajas of India and European queens adorned themselves with pearls, a symbol of their prestige. At 2018's Catholic Church-inspired Met Gala, celebrities walked the red carpet dripping in pearls. Uma Thurman's dress had over 3,000 white pearls sewn to it, while Rihanna's pope-inspired outfit was encrusted in pearls. At the 2019 Grammys, Cardi B was basically dressed like an oyster. The most expensive pearl ever sold was Marie Antoinette's pendant. It sold for $32 million in a 2018 auction. But what is it that makes pearls so expensive? Marie Antoinette's pearl was part of a diamond-studded pendant, and it has important historical significance, which increased its value. But there are several other factors that determine the value of a pearl. (Read more.)

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

St. George and the Dragon

But the knight, turning him about, bade her remain where she was, and went out to meet the dragon.
When it observed him approach, the beast was struck with amazement, and, having paused for but a moment, it ran toward the knight with a great swiftness, and beating its dark wings upon the ground as it ran.

When it drew near to him, it puffed out from its nostrils a smoke so dense that the knight was enveloped in it as in a cloud; and darted hot flames from its eyes. Rearing its horrid body, it beat against the knight, dealing him fearful blows; but he, bending, thrust his spear against it, and caught the blows upon his shield. 
~ Legend of St. George and the Dragon

The legend of St. George and the dragon was one of the most popular stories in the Middle Ages. St. George is generally believed to have lived in Asia Minor and to have suffered under the Emperor Diocletian. Ascalon, the sword of St. George, was celebrated by knights who took the martyred warrior as the patron of chivalry. While his name became the battle-cry of Merry Old England, St. George  was universally venerated in both the East and the West; in the Roman Church he was one of the Fourteen Holy Helpers.

While we know there was indeed a martyr named George, how true is the account of his battle with the dragon? According to New Advent:
This episode of the dragon is in fact a very late development, which cannot be traced further back than the twelfth or thirteenth century. It is found in the Golden Legend (Historia Lombardic of James de Voragine and to this circumstance it probably owes its wide diffusion. It may have been derived from an allegorization of the tyrant Diocletian or Dadianus, who is sometimes called a dragon (ho bythios drakon) in the older text, but despite the researches of Vetter (Reinbot von Durne, pp.lxxv-cix) the origin of the dragon story remains very obscure. In any case the late occurrence of this development refutes the attempts made to derive it from pagan sources....

The best known form of the legend of St. George and the Dragon is that made popular by the "Legenda Aurea", and translated into English by Caxton. According to this, a terrible dragon had ravaged all the country round a city of Libya, called Selena, making its lair in a marshy swamp. Its breath caused pestilence whenever it approached the town, so the people gave the monster two sheep every day to satisfy its hunger, but, when the sheep failed, a human victim was necessary and lots were drawn to determine the victim. On one occasion the lot fell to the king's little daughter. The king offered all his wealth to purchase a substitute, but the people had pledged themselves that no substitutes should be allowed, and so the maiden, dressed as a bride, was led to the marsh. There St. George chanced to ride by, and asked the maiden what she did, but she bade him leave her lest he also might perish. The good knight stayed, however, and, when the dragon appeared, St. George, making the sign of the cross, bravely attacked it and transfixed it with his lance. Then asking the maiden for her girdle (an incident in the story which may possibly have something to do with St. George's selection as patron of the Order of the Garter), he bound it round the neck of the monster, and thereupon the princess was able to lead it like a lamb. They then returned to the city, where St. George bade the people have no fear but only be baptized, after which he cut off the dragon's head and the townsfolk were all converted. The king would have given George half his kingdom, but the saint replied that he must ride on, bidding the king meanwhile take good care of God's churches, honour the clergy, and have pity on the poor. The earliest reference to any such episode in art is probably to be found in an old Roman tombstone at Conisborough in Yorkshire, considered to belong to the first half of the twelfth century. Here the princess is depicted as already in thedragon's clutches, while an abbot stands by and blesses the rescuer.
The key to the legend of St. George is that it epitomizes the spiritual combat in which all Christians are engaged, on one level or another. As Fr. Blake explains:
I love saints like St George, whose true story is lost in myth. In both stories George becomes a Christian "everyman". The first legend reminds us that despite every attempt to overcome him by God's grace George endures and survives all, and even in death is victorious.
The second story draws on apocalyptic imagery, the dragon is the symbol of evil, the power of sin, but here it is to be contrasted with the pure virgin. I am reminded of St Athanasius' struggle for twenty years in the tomb against demons. In all of us there is the pure virgin and the dragon. George, here takes on the attributes of St Michael (Michael means "Who is like God"), in his struggle he overcomes evil which then becomes subject to purity.

More HERE.


Queen Victoria's Stuart Ball Costume

From The Mirror:
Through objects from the Royal Collection and an immersive experience in the Palace’s Ballroom, visitors will learn how Victoria transformed the headquarters of the Monarchy into an rallying point for national celebrations and a family home. Undertaking a massive renovation Victoria was responsible for adding the famous balcony and the grand ballroom, which she and Prince Albert used to stage magnificent themed costume balls. Guests were encouraged to commission elaborate costumes to give work to the Spitalfield silk weavers, whose business was in sharp decline. The Stuart Ball of July 13 1851 had as its theme the Restoration period, with guests dressed in the style of Charles II’s court. Queen Victoria’s costume for the Stuart Ball, designed by the artist Eugene Lami, has a bodice and full skirt of grey moire trimmed with gold lace and an underskirt of gold and silver brocade. (Read more.)

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Authoritative Parenting

Reflecting on the families I’ve worked with in my practice, I’ve come to suspect that regular meals serve as an easily measured proxy for one of the longest-standing and sturdiest determinants of adolescent well-being: authoritative parenting. In the early 1970s, the psychologist Diana Baumrind identified two essential components of parenting: structure and warmth. Authoritative parents bring both. They hold high standards for behavior while being lovingly engaged with their children. Decades of research have documented that teenagers raised by authoritative parents are the ones most likely to do well at school, enjoy abundant psychological health and stay out of trouble. In contrast, adolescents with authoritarian parents (high on structure, low on warmth), indulgent parents (low on structure, high on warmth) or neglectful parents (low on both) don’t fare nearly so well. (Read more.)

Laurence Olivier’s Charismatic Version of History

From Medievalists:
Research into Shakespeare’s sources will prove interesting and productive. Try, for example, Holinshed (e.g. Macbeth as well as Henry V), More (Richard III), Saxo (Hamlet), Plutarch (Julius Caesar), Plautus (The Comedy of Errors), Virgil (The Tempest) or Boccaccio (Cymbeline); listed are only a few of the sources and plays influenced by these writers. Brief exploration will provide much more information about his characters – real or mythological – enriching knowledge and enjoyment of the text. If Shakespeare could make such fascinating drama out of past historical or mythological characters, what might he do with the life of a ruler, about whom plenty had been written and verbally passed down since his death in 1422? Henry V had died only about 175 years before the play was written and was –according to contemporary sources but not precisely in these words – ‘quite a legend’! (Read more.)

Monday, April 22, 2019

La Duchesse d'Angoulême

The daughter of Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette. Via Invaluable. Share

Tolkien Exhibition

From EW:
The Lord of the Rings was first published in the mid-’50s, and, along with the rest of J.R.R. Tolkien’s legendarium, was intended to provide Great Britain with its very own formative mythology (the kind that he thought had been displaced by the 11th century Norman conquest). Nevertheless, the stories have always found a passionate following in America. “Many young Americans are involved in the stories in a way that I am not,” the author told The New York Times in 1967, as if he saw even then the shape that obsessive pop culture fandom would take over the following half-century. 
Now the “Tolkien: Maker of Middle-earth” exhibit at New York City’s Morgan Library & Museum provides some fans a rare chance to see an extensive public display of original Tolkien material culled from Oxford’s Bodleian Library and other collections. There are the kinds of historical documents you could expect from a museum: Black-and-white photographs of Tolkien’s parents in South Africa (where he was born), before they both died young. There are photos of Tolkien himself throughout different stages of his life, as well as his wife, Edith. But there’s a touch of unique personality to it as well. Because Tolkien was an orphan, he was under the guardianship of Father Francis Morgan (no relation to the library), who forbid him from pursuing a relationship with the non-Catholic Edith…at least until Tolkien could come of age, graduate Oxford, and make such decisions for himself. So, to motivate himself academically, Tolkien kept a record of his number of hours worked, and kisses that Edith owed him in return; you can see the cute document in the exhibit. (Read more.)

The New Manichees

From Hermeneutic of Continuity:
It is great that the Catholic Herald has Chad Pecknold writing a column "Daily Herald." Today he has a thought-provoking piece called Progressive writers are starting to admit the sexual revolution was a failure
He refers to a Guardian article in which the writer acknowledges that sexual permissiveness is a "a dystopia that gave rise to a rape culture." So far, so obvious, but the recent development which really puzzles the "progressives" is that there is a decrease in sexual activity among young people. 
Pecknold hopes that the progressive writers will arrive at the view that sex is sacred, is "an earthly union which cooperates in the divine act of creating immortal beings" and should be reserved to marriage. Well that would be really good, but I fear that it is optimistic. It is at least possible that we could see our new Manichaeism develop further. The Manichees saw birth as a bad thing because it introduced evil matter into the world. Our new Manichees see birth as a bad thing because it introduces another human into the world - but the idea of pollution is still prominent. (Read more.)


From Ancient History:
Ife (aka Ile-Ife) was an ancient African city which flourished between the 11th and 15th century CE in what is today Nigeria in West Africa. Ife was the capital and principal religious centre of the Yoruba kingdom of Ife, which prospered thanks to trade connections with other West African kingdoms. Ife is particularly famous today for the magnificent metal sculptures its artists produced which include serene-looking human heads so masterfully crafted that Europeans once wrongly considered them the work of another civilization.

 Located in today’s Nigeria along the Guinea coast of southern West Africa, Ife controlled the rainforest to the west of the River Niger delta. Ife was founded c. 500 CE by the Yoruba people - a Kwa-speaking people of southwest Nigeria and Benin - but did not flourish until the early part of the 2nd millennium CE. Ife culture may have been influenced or somehow connected to the kingdom of Igbo-Ukwu, which peaked in the 9th century CE on the other side of the River Niger, but details of this period of history in southern West Africa are lacking. The kingdom of Ife had disappeared by the 16th century CE for reasons which are unknown. (Read more.)

Sunday, April 21, 2019

Wines for Versailles

In an ideal world, museums seeking to fund projects would tap enthusiastic donors, and the monies would simply appear. Today, however, cultural institutions are getting increasingly creative in order to reach out beyond their core supporters. Consider the intriguing initiatives that are fueling improvements at Château de Versailles, the French royal domain that’s so big—700 rooms, 2,000-plus acres—that “there is no shortage of urgent and exciting projects,” Catherine Pégard, the veteran political journalist who became the president of Versailles in 2016, told AD. “Versailles is unique not only in the immensity of its needs if it is to continue to live and flourish in this day and age but also in the extraordinary riches it has to offer to everyone, so it is only natural that our response should be a creative one.” 
For the benefit of Versailles, Hermès once created a limited edition scarf, Guerlain conjured up a limited edition scent based on Marie Antoinette’s favorite flower (that would be jasmine), and Saint-Louis is working on glassware that looks to 18th- and early-19th century examples in Versailles’ collections. Then there’s Château Mouton Rothschild, the legendary, premier cru winery in Pauillac, France, near Bordeaux, which has partnered with Versailles for a series of wine auctions. Says Pégard, “The entire proceeds of this act of patronage will be devoted to the restoration and decoration of the Royal Apartments in the Palace of Versailles and the fountains in the Grand Trianon gardens.” (Read more.)

Neuron Formation in the Human Brain

From Scientific American:
If the memory center of the human brain can grow new cells, it might help people recover from depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), delay the onset of Alzheimer’s, deepen our understanding of epilepsy and offer new insights into memory and learning. If not, well then, it’s just one other way people are different from rodents and birds.

For decades, scientists have debated whether the birth of new neurons—called neurogenesis—was possible in an area of the brain that is responsible for learning, memory and mood regulation. A growing body of research suggested they could, but then a Nature paper last year raised doubts. Now, a new study published today in another of the Nature family of journals—Nature Medicine—tips the balance back toward “yes.” In light of the new study, “I would say that there is an overwhelming case for the neurogenesis throughout life in humans,” Jonas Frisén, a professor at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden, said in an e-mail. Frisén, who was not involved in the new research, wrote a News and Views about the study in the current issue of Nature Medicine. (Read more.)

Saturday, April 20, 2019

A Gathering of Egg Cups

From Victoria:
As diminutive as they are exquisitely detailed, these shapely collectibles garner appreciation that exceeds their dainty proportions. Beyond cradling soft-cooked eggs served at brunch, they can be used in myriad ways. Companies began offering eggcups in their most beloved china patterns during Victorian times, but these charming serving dishes were first noted among culinary traditions generations before. Turkish mosaics discovered in the ruins of Pompeii—the ancient Roman city that was preserved instantaneously when Mount Vesuvius erupted—portray diners using similar vessels as early as 3 A.D. (Read more.)