Thursday, January 21, 2010

I can call Repentance with a song

In a household where I regularly visit lives a cat named Repentance (acquired, so I am told, at a time when the owner had a dog whose name was Faith). I am, miraculously, not allergic to this cat, which is pretty nice-- I even tried petting him the other day, which went fairly non-sneezingly.

I decided to try something that used to work on my mom's cat, and also (though I wasn't doing it intentionally) worked on the cows that live near my grandma's house: I sang to it to call it. Sure enough, it came. The first song we tried (myself and the small child who was with me) worked pretty well-- "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star"-- but the second one, one of my favorites from my childhood, worked even better. The version I learned as a child was adapted for the Primary Children's songbook from a longer piece (which I learned during voice lessons I took a couple of summers ago) by Felix Mendelssohn, from his oratorio Elijah. The words go like this: "If with all your hearts, ye truly seek me, Ye shall ever surely find me, Thus saith our God. Ye shall ever surely find me; Thus saith our God.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

First, the heartwarming; also, amusing

(also, happy 100th post to Cornelia Philosophene as a blog)

I was cleaning out old posts, and found that I had mostly put this one together but hadn't actually put it up, and since I still love these articles, I decided to put them up. People I talk to on the phone all the time have probably heard all of them, but do check out the hippo-tortoise video; it's pretty cool.


A woman in Texas is teaching prisoners how to run their own businesses. While the national recidivism (going back to a life of crime) rate for ex-convicts is 50-70%, the rate for her program is 5%. It's true that they are very selective about who they let in, but as far as I'm concerned, that's a sign that they're doing something right.

A man in India, the sixth son of his parents, got polio when he was six months old and still sometimes has to crawl up stairs. He was selected to be in a documentary about polio in India, called The Final Inch. The heartwarming part is that his older brothers would carry him to school, sometimes on their bicycles, sometimes on their backs, and he was eventually able to complete a college education. Wow! Here's the link for the whole thing:

As a transition, a story which is both hilarious and heartwarming (the video doesn't show enough, but still it's pretty cool): an orphaned baby hippo who makes friends with a giant tortoise. It's true that I have a fascination with odd adoptions; I have no explanation for this, other than to say that it does seem to have some gospel foundation.

Next: Two nuclear submarines collide!!!???!! Excuse me? One was British, the other was French; they both were using sonar and both were using anti-sonar cloaking. Perhaps there's such a thing as being too invisible? On the bright side, no one was seriously hurt.

Also, the "mystery of Ireland's worst driver" is solved. This story just goes to show how sometimes even a little bit of foreign-language skill can go a long way.