Saturday, August 04, 2007

Notable Linkables

* Karen Marie Knapp died in her sleep on August 1; blogging at From the Anchor Hold, she was a staple of the blogosphere. She first posted May 30, 2002; her last was July 20, 2007. Her archives are well worth browsing. God bless her; and may she remember us in her prayers.

* Common-place has an article on the only still-intact residence of Benjamin Franklin: the house he lived in on Craven Street when he was in London representing the Pennsylvania Assembly. It stands near Charing Cross Station, and has recently been renovated (its status as intact had recently become a bit precarious).

* Under Hill by Gene Wolfe is a fun little short story. (ht: CC)

* Mr. H has pictures from the first Jesuit emblem-book.

* Those interested in the Reformed view of justification should take Rebecca's quiz; it's a quick tour of the Westminster Confession on the subject. She gives and discusses the answers at length here, here, here, and here.

* Mike Wallace's 1959 interview with Ayn Rand: Part I, Part II, Part III. (Ht: MP)

* An interesting mistranslation: The "Aggressive House Spider", also known as the Hobo spider, is actually fairly nonaggressive. So why the name? It appears to be a misunderstandng of the Latin name, Tegenaria agrestis. A large number of spiders of the Tegenaria genus (the mat weavers) are common and well-known house spiders, so the genus is often treated as a genus of house spiders. But the Hobo spider is not a true house spider; it's an outdoor spider. That is, in fact, where the Latin name comes from: agrestis means 'rural' or 'pertaining to the fields'; in Western Europe, its indigenous habitat, it sticks to fields far from human habitation. (In the Northwest U.S., where it was transplanted, it has tended to encroach on human territory much more often, although this may be changing due to increasing competition from other spider species.) But someone at some point misunderstood 'agrestis' to mean 'aggressive', and so we have a spider that's agrestis (and thus not a house spider) called 'the Aggressive House Spider'. You can find information on hobo spiders here.

* Early Christian Writings has an E-Catena; an excellent resource for understanding how the Church Fathers read the New Testament.

* Some delightful logic books online: Lewis Carroll's The Game of Logic.
Alfred James Swinburne's Picture Logic.
Martin Gardner's Logic Machines and Diagrams
D. P. Chase's A First Logic Book
Richard Whately's Easy Lessons on Reasoning

For a more advanced inquirer, John Venn's Symbolic Logic is a good discussion of Boolean logic, while his The Logic of Chance is still one of the best accounts of probability in frequentist terms. De Morgan's Syllabus of a Proposed System of Logic is worth reading, as is his Formal Logic. Boole's The Mathematical Analysis of Logic also has much food for thought.

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