Take this, and eat it, in remembrance of Me

I saw this expression of dogma in the paper this morning, but it cleared the buffer before I made it back to my desk. Thanks for the reminder, Eric.

BRIELLE, New Jersey (AP) — An 8-year-old girl who suffers from a rare digestive disorder and cannot eat wheat has had her first Holy Communion declared invalid because the wafer contained no wheat, violating Roman Catholic doctrine.

Wheat is a special grain, with deeper significance than most people realize. Though rice has played just as great a role in the Orient, wheat is the staple of the Eurasian diet.

Or as the Vatican puts it in Redemptionis Sacramentum

[48.] The bread used in the celebration of the Most Holy Eucharistic Sacrifice must be unleavened, purely of wheat, and recently made so that there is no danger of decomposition.[123] It follows therefore that bread made from another substance, even if it is grain, or if it is mixed with another substance different from wheat to such an extent that it would not commonly be considered wheat bread, does not constitute valid matter for confecting the Sacrifice and the Eucharistic Sacrament.

It is possible to contest this within the Church, and to introduce an exception to the Canon, or revise the requirements for the host, or one could do as another family did.

In 2001, the family of a 5-year-old Massachusetts girl with the disease left the Catholic church after being denied permission to use a rice wafer. [emphasis mine]

If the Church will deny your participation in its most precious sacrament, why should you stay? Or, perhaps more to the point, what kind of God would care?

TiVoing the Fencers

I finally caught one of the fencing broadcasts, of the men’s sabre finals on TiVo. If you don’t have TiVo, or another high-quality DVR, and you are a sports nut, I highly recommend it. The pause feature is essential, as are slow motion and instant replay. Because, let’s face it, everybody poops.

I hate to recommend the POS NBC site, but they have video from Sada Jacobson‘s and Mariel Zagunis‘s bouts. The clips require the first six digits of your Visa card (hiss!) and Windows Media Player (boo!).

While NBC is only interested in broadcasting chances at medals, the U.S. Fencing Association has been watching all of the bouts. Not only do they have a guide for the media, but they have one of those blog things as well.

MSN Spaces

Phil Ringnalda has an excellent look at MSN Spaces, their blog service, though I’m not sure why I read Sam Ruby’s comments without going back to the original.

Amid all the negative aspects of the site, I spy at least two things I approve of: storage.msn.com is a good name.

I am interested to note that the feed I get while I’m signed in to Passport includes draft entries, unlike the feed I get when I’m signed out. Since most RSS readers aren’t going to be sending a cookie that includes the Passport login information, <wide-eyed-and-innocent> that would seem to make an RSS reader built into the browser more useful than others </wide-eyed-and-innocent>.

Starter Castle

Tilden mansion
This is what a real mansion looks like. It is obviously not a McMansion, which you can confirm by checking the price tag.

ure doesn’t do the place justice, because you can’t see the rest of the property, or the details in the granite, or the guest house, or the view across Lake Mahopac.

Poor Coverage

I didn’t mention this before, but NBC’s Olympics site is incredibly bad. The first two thirds of the screen are taken by useless graphical features. And, yes, by useless I mean a banner containing the date and a button for the Telemundo version, a banner advertisement, and the logo. I know what day it is. I don’t need to search Google from here. Trash the advertisements; I’m not clicking — beach volleyball is on and I have to concentrate. Then there’s the background image, which just wastes time on the download.

Look, the web is more than a decade old. I think you can find people who know how to write quality HTML. Earth to NBC, investigate optimization. Oh, yeah, you probably talked to SBCY! marketing. Too bad, I’m out of region, and your Internet-based coverage sucks just as bad as your broadcast coverage.

Speaking of bad, was it too much to ask that they spend more than 30 seconds covering our first gold in fencing?

Change, Please

inluminent’s well-endowed linkblog linked to a manifesto at ChangeThis.

People call the team at Change This optimists because we don’t believe it has to be this way. We don’t believe humans evolved to be so bad at making decisions, so poor at changing our minds, so violent in arguing our point of view. We’re well aware of how split our country and our world have become, but we don’t think the current state of affairs is built into our very nature.

Another Major Award: the CIO Agile 100

CIO Magazine has seen fit to include SBC as one of its “Agile 100.” They “selected 100 organizations wherein IT agility enables agility across the enterprise.”

SBC Communications
San Antonio
Portfolio management utilized to shift more than $60 million in project budgets to higher priorities. Application Rapid Deployment process for 316 types of low-risk, repeatable IT solutions increased IT staffer productivity by 49 percent.
John Stankey, CIO and Senior Executive VP
Edward E. Whitacre Jr., Chairman and CEO
FY03 revenue: $40.8 billion
Employees: 175,400

Meanwhile, the University of Michigan‘s American Customer Satisfaction Index rates us a 68, out of 100.

Hey, nobody’s perfect. At least we’re better than Qwest.