Over the weekend, thieves apparently not-too-concerned about booking a place in heaven, stole a relic that contained a piece of gauze that was once soaked with the blood of late Pope John Paul II. Church officials at the isolated San Pietro della Ienca church in the Abruzzo region of Italy reported the burglary. The small church housed the relic that is one of only three in the world.
According to the BBC, the relic was not heavily guarded, as the thieves were able to break through the iron bars and a window protecting the display. The burglars also took a crucifix, but left the church’s collection box untouched.
Be on the look out for pope clones, or perhaps Baphomet, or maybe just deranged billionaires with collections of bloody gauze. Who owns Curt Shilling’s bloody sock?
Well, we now have a “pope emeritus,” the first one since 1415. Now all we need is an antipope, and we’ll have everything. What I find interesting is speculation about Benedict XVI’s new title. I may not be a practicing catholic, but I am taken back that Benedict XVI is keeping his name, and the title of pope, and the vestments of office. He should revert back to wearing black, and not be called “pope” anything. The “former bishop of Rome” was a good compromise, since it’s a title that’s held by the pope in addition to pontiff, and sounds more pedestrian. Personally, I think “Ratzinger, emeritus bishop of Rome” would be perfect, but he apparently didn’t want to give it up. At least he’s traded in his pointy hat for a baseball cap.
Philip McCarthy‘s Pareidoloop overlays semitransparent polygons until a human face is found. (github link) It’s inspired by Roger Alsing‘s Evolution of Mona Lisa, where he applied the same technique recreate the Mona Lisa.
(google code link)
A more interesting variation of this technique would be throw the images through a classifier trained to recognize various religious images, print them on toast, and the post the toast to eBay Virgin Mary toast style.
There is something seriously wrong when condemning one of the seven deadly sins is a taboo. Why? Evangelical preachers don’t want to alienate wealthy donors. In other words, they want the money that’s used to line their pockets. Maybe it’s because I grew up Catholic, but I never trust anyone that says he’s doing “God’s work” and doesn’t take a vow poverty. Or as George Orwell said, saints should be considered guilty until proven innocent. Personally, I blame the the Prosperity Theology and the canard that Mark 10:25 actually doesn’t mean what it says.
Bonus points for the article quoting the right winger that says that envy is the real problem.